Well, I watched Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings again today and honestly, I can definitively say this is the best MCU origin story by a mile and one of the top ten MCU films.
Like I said in my last post, Shang-Chi isn’t a perfect movie. In the humor department some of the jokes feel a bit cheesy or poorly placed in between the awesome action scenes but that’s the only element of the film that takes some points away from the film. The rest of the movie is absolutely fantastic!
Considering that the movie has been out for a week I’m going to head into spoiler territory so I implore you to STOP READING NOW if you haven’t seen it already. Okay, here goes my review.
First off, the beginning of this movie is the best in the MCU. As Fala Chen narrates the story in Chinese we get an immediate sense of the movie’s antagonist, Wenwu through an incredible sequence that completely absorbs you into this story and sets up so much to come.
It also establishes the absolutely beautiful and mesmerizing love story between Wenwu and Shang-Chi’s mother, Yi Ling which factors heavily into the story in a profoundly heartbreaking way. As I watched their beautifully choreographed fight-dance that just oozes romance I couldn’t help the huge smile on my face. It’s such a gorgeous scene!
From there, the movie continues and we are introduced to the primary characters in the story; Shang-Chi, Katy and Xialing.
The bus scene lets us know what type of movie this is from the get-go with an awesome action scene paired with a really great piece of music.
From there the movie moves along at a rather brisk pace that kind of moves from action scene to action scene before finally slowing down and embracing what this story is really about; the family drama.
I found myself having to hold back tears through quite a lot of the father’s dialogue with his children, Shang-Chi and Xialing as he told them about trying to save their mother. It’s so sad to see Wenwu has been driven utterly mad with the loss of their mother that it just gets me emotional.
Casting Tony Leung as Wenwu was brilliant because he really brought so much to that character. He’s honestly one of the best written characters in the MCU and I’m still devastated that he dies. Ugh.
I can also definitively say this is the saddest MCU origin story for sure. It makes me cry so much during the film’s last forty minutes. The heartbreaking tragedy that is Yi Ling’s death utterly casts the film in a somber light and looms like a shadow over Wenwu, Shang-Chi, and Xialing’s heads. Ever since her death, neither one of them have truly moved on but in a way it was her goodness that eventually brought them together again. Okay, I’m getting emotional just thinking about it. Yikes.
Yeah, this movie made me cry even more the second time.
All in all, Shang-Chi is definitely, imo, the best MCU origin story so far. It establishes Shang-Chi in such a fleshed-out way that you can’t help already liking and caring about this character even though we’re just being introduced to him. I absolutely can’t wait to see him again in future MCU installments.
And Xialing is an absolute bad***. Even though this movie is about Shang-Chi the writers didn’t refrain from giving her an equally interesting story that’s bound to continue in amazing ways in the future. I love her and I also can’t wait to see more of her.
Do I think Shang-Chi is better than Black Widow? After a second viewing, yes. Yes, I do.
(And do I ship Shang-Chi and Katy? Heck yeah! They are so cute together. Hmm. Are they my new favorite Marvel couple?)
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a spectacular day.
2 thoughts on “‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ After a Second Viewing”
I wound up going the other way — I liked Black Widow a fair deal more than this, partly because the story with Wenwu and Li just… didn’t resonate with me the way it apparently did with you. And frankly the early fight scenes got repetitive enough that I wound up timing a bathroom break when Razorfist and crew attacked them in Xialing’s club, correctly guessing that I wasn’t going to miss any major plot developments while I was away a couple minutes. That said, I guess it’s possible I’ll need to see it again, but I wound up putting it a good half point short of Black Widow on my scale.
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I actually came to the same conclusion with my first viewing but it was my second viewing that changed my mind. It, for me, has a greater story than Black Widow and offers far more potential moving forward than what the BW film offered.
But Black Widow is a great movie!