4.5 stars out of 5
“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, ranks among Marvel Studios’ best films. This is thanks in part to the cast, such as the star of the film, Simu Liu, who gives a performance that is full of the charisma and emotion audiences have come to expect from Marvel stars.
Also featured are Awkwafina, who shines as Katy, the comedic relief of the film, and Meng’er Zhang, who gives a complex and fun performance as Xialing. However, the true highlight of the film’s cast is Tony Leung, who gives a nuanced performance as the film’s antagonist, Wenwu.
Shang-Chi also features the best action choreography in the entirety of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, thanks to its numerous martial-arts inspired sequences. The film also features beautiful setpieces and stunning visual effects, especially in the film’s third act. Similarly to fellow Marvel films “Black Panther” and “Into the Spider-Verse,” Shang-Chi also features an original soundtrack created for the film, which is used to great effect throughout many of the scenes.
Another highlight of the movie is its use of comedy, as this manages to be one of the funniest Marvel films, while still taking itself more seriously than action-comedies such as the “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Thor: Ragnarok.”
In terms of reception, Shang-Chi has demolished box office expectations, as according to Deadline, it earned $94.67 million domestically over its opening on Labor Day weekend, which is over double of what it was expected to make. This also means Shang-Chi holds the record for the biggest Labor Day weekend box office.
On top of this, the film has had a strong critical response, earning a 92% positive rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes out of 265 reviews. Audiences seem to agree with the critics’ reactions, as they have given it a 98% rating, and an “A” Cinemascore. Between the box office and responses to the film, it is clear that Shang-Chi will leave a deservedly lasting impression on audiences and the Marvel franchise.
By Ryan Abraham