shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten rings

It looks like the MCU’s 25th movie is yet another success for the hit factory that is Marvel Studios. This September brings Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, starring Simu Liu as the titular martial arts master, the very first leading Asian superhero in the franchise. This one means a lot to fans, then, and thankfully it looks like director Destin Daniel Cretton has nailed it, as his comic book movie debut has opened to a top-draw score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Shang-Chi is officially Certified Fresh on the review-aggregate site. At the time of writing, the film is sporting a 92% critic’s score on the back of 98 reviews. Its critics’ consensus admits it’s a somewhat familiar superhero origins story, but that it also manages to innovate the formula in a few ways. “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings isn’t entirely free of Marvel’s familiar formula,” it reads, “but this exciting origin story expands the MCU in more ways than one.”

Liu’s leading performance is being praised, along with the action sequences and Cretton’s direction, but many reviews are highlighting the villain of the piece as the movie’s MVP. Tony Leung plays Wenwu, father to Shang-Chi and the true Mandarin, a character previously impersonated by Trevor Slattery in Iron Man 3. The MCU fandom has been waiting a long time to meet the true master of the ten rings, so it’s good to hear he doesn’t disappoint. Expect Leung to deliver a surprisingly nuanced portrayal of the classic comic book villain.

Nick Allen of RogerEbert.com praises Shang-Chi‘s “immense soulfulness” while Peter Hartlaub of The San Francisco Chronicle promises that cinema-goers “will be getting your money’s worth at the movies” with this one. Of course, nothing’s perfect, so several critics cite an overreliance on flashbacks that arguably bogs down the plot and slows the pace in places.

We’ll be able to judge the movie for ourselves when Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings hits theaters on September 3rd.





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