Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) – Destin Daniel Cretton

The MCU expands just a little further with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings which explodes onto theatres on 3 September. Simu Liu, one of the talented cast members of the beloved series Kim’s Convenience steps easily onto the silver screen to assume the mantle of the titular Shang-Chi in a story that marries Western comic book action with Eastern myth and philosophy.

The film also introduces, arguably, the most flawed and human villain in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe with Tony Chiu-Wai Leung’s Wenwu. Referencing the events in Iron Man 3, and Trevor Slattery’s (Ben Kingsley) hired appearance as The Mandarin, the supposed ruler of the Ten Rings, we learn the true history of the rings, and their connection to Wenwu.

He’s a villain, who turned away from the darkness when he fell in love with Jiang Li (Fala Chen) and had two children, Shang-Chi, and Xialing (Meng’er Zhang). But when death claims his wife, he turns back to villainy, but is a broken, heartworn man who just wants to be reunited with his wife, something he believes that can happen.

Shang-Chi has hidden from his father, and works in San Francisco with his best friend Katy (Awkwafina) and the two of them are about to find themselves in a life-changing save-the-world adventure that will mold them both into heroes.

Alongside these recognisable names strides Michelle Yeoh, another iconic legend, as well as Benedict Wong, Tim Roth, and Ronny Chieng. The film also has an Eastern flavored soundtrack and score, which was written by Joel P. West and he perfectly captures the feel of the humour and the heart with some great themes, and needle drops.

The film ties itself firmly into the MCU, there are cameos, references, and viewers will love the level of detail in the film, even as it deals with emotional issues surrounding family. And that’s what makes the MCU films work, there’s giant, epic stories, but all of them have a human story at its heart.

I love the Chinese culture and mythology that are brought to the screen in this story, and the blending of Western and Eastern that happens when you mesh the comic book world with some of the most beautiful Eastern imagery and philosophies.

There’s humour, big action sequences and a deluge of special effects, but the film never loses its emotional heart. Featuring some gorgeously choreographed wushu that transforms some combat sequences to a beautiful dance that highlights the connections of the characters, and advances the plot, as the best dance numbers (and fight sequences) do.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a vibrant, energetic film that boasts a wonderfully diverse and representative cast that entertains, delights, and honestly, just knows how to have a lot of fun, and that is thanks to the incredibly likeable cast led by Liu and the modern myth telling that is the comic book, and the ever expanding MCU. And it couldn’t have happened to a better person than Simu Liu, I am so happy that he’s achieved so much, and he’s just beginning!!!

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is in theatres on 3 September!

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