Movie Review: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Kaitlin Arocho, Staff Reporter
On Friday, September 3, the newest Marvel Studios movie, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, premiered. It broke the Labor Day box office record of $30.6 million, that was previously held by Halloween (2007), with $71.4 million.
In the film there were creatures known from Chinese culture, like the nine-tailed fox Huli Jing (also known as kitsune in Japan), DiJiang (“Morris”) which are mountain patron gods in Chinese Mythology, and Feng shui Fu Dogs (or Imperial Guardian Lions). There was a good portion of the movie that was spoken in Mandarin, the most common language in China. Also, traditionally in Eastern culture women don’t have as big of a role and are often just to the side observing which makes sense as to why Xialing (Meng’ er Zhang) had to teach herself how to fight.
With the exception of a few characters, the entire cast is of some asian descent. The only one actually from China though is Meng’ er Zhang. She’s done a number of theater productions but this was the first time she’s ever been on camera. Ben Kingsley, who plays Trevor Slattery, basically gave her masterclasses on how to act on camera everyday. Considering all of that and the pressure of it being for as huge of a franchise as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, she did extremely well.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was a beautifully done movie, with attention to detail regarding Asian culture and the intention behind major fight sequences. The second fight scene, one between the Mandarin (Tony Leung Chiu-wai) and Leiko Wu (Fala Chen), was different from most fights you’d see in a Marvel movie. With the Mandarin attacking for a majority of the fight and Leiko Wu being on the defensive with the exception of a few moments. It felt like a commentary on the brash, clouded judgement of men, against the calculated, delicate, yet strong touch of women. There were moments that were done in slow motion, in order to show a hint of romance between them, but also to highlight her calm fighting style. This same exact fight happens with Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) taking his mother’s place and the slow motion moments in this fight show his growth as a character. The idea of “knowing where you come from” is strung throughout the movie and is really highlighted in this fight.
Seeing as Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings belongs to Marvel Studios, and they tend to do well, its achievements are no surprise, but now being out of its premiere weekend, is it worth going to see? The answer is yes.