An honest review of Marvel’s “Shang-Chi” (no spoilers)

Promotional poster for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Photo provided by:

Anna DiCrisi, Staff Writer

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” the newest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, premiered on September 3, 2021 and has remained in the top spot on the box-office charts ever since.

I had the privilege of seeing this blockbuster film opening night, and I was blown away.

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” is easily one of my new favorite Marvel movies. With the first solo theatrical release in two years, expectations for this movie were very high; personally, I think the acting, the aesthetic, and the writing exceeded any of my own predictions.

A free poster that the movie theater gave out to everyone in the audience. Photo Credit: Anna DiCrisi

To start, the performances of the actors felt genuine, really bringing the audience into the story. Simi Liu plays Shang-Chi with a natural charisma. He is a funny and relatable protagonist who faces the forces of evil with a strong sense of integrity. His counterpart, Katy, is played by the ever-comedic Awkwafina. Giving the viewer no choice but to fall in love with her, Awkwafina plays a sweet young woman who is probably the most hysterical character I’ve ever seen. Their performances, along with the rest of the cast’s, make the movie both enjoyable and intriguing.

In addition to the acting, this was one of the most visually beautiful Marvel movies. The Chinese culture in the film allowed the movie to have tall bamboo, pastel flowers, ancient drawings, and so much more. The costuming is elegant, and the cinematography is incredibly immersive. In addition, the climactic battle scene takes place partly over a stunning lake, contributing some memorable shots both under and above the water.

Arguably the most important thing, the writing for this movie provided it with the foundation it needed to become a hit. Both the characters and the storyline were so dynamic.

For me, the detail that makes or breaks a classic “good vs. evil” movie is the depth of the villain. Some Marvel films, like “Spiderman: Homecoming,” feature a villain that wants to take over the world for power or money; however, Shang-Chi’s father has pure motives, which makes the movie so nuanced. All the “bad” things he does are all an attempt to bring back his wife, who passed about ten years before. This element of the plot really evokes empathy in the audience, and emotionally ties them to the outcome of the story.

But don’t take my word for it. Seniors Erika Kuehl and Isabella Dascanio saw it too. Erika says, “I saw it with my boyfriend, and I am obsessed with it. It was such a beautiful movie, and it had such an emotional storyline. I would see it again in a heartbeat.”

Isabella added, “This was definitely my favorite Marvel movie in a long time. If you haven’t seen it, you need to get to the theaters right now.”

There is no doubt that this is a film you don’t want to miss. Experience the innovative and groundbreaking cinematic experience that is “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” now playing in theaters everywhere.