Mesa Legend
Simu Liu, the breakout Marvel star, is only one part of the excellent cast that brought life to "Shang-Chi." (Photo courtesy of The Walt Disney Studios)

Marvel’s ‘Shang-Chi’ is a hit for all the right reasons

With an action-packed mix of western and eastern cultures, the new Marvel movie “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” shows how to make the right origin story movie for a popular comic book character. Starring breakout Simu Liu and comedy starling Awkwafina, “Shang-Chi” is full of spectacular visual effects and heart-pumping action that is entertaining from beginning to end.

The movie begins with the story of a greedy, powerful man giving it all up for love before we skip forward through time and land in modern day U.S. Shaun and his best friend Katy (Simu Liu and Awkwafina) are 20-somethings who refuse to grow up and get actual jobs instead of getting drunk at the karaoke bar.

After fighters target Shaun, Katy learns the truth about Shaun’s past: he has a sister, and his father is an old, powerful man with a secret army called the Ten Rings. Shaun fears the men will go after his sister and decides he must find her.
Katy and Shaun follow their only lead ⁠— an underground fight club featuring some strange characters and some familiar ones. They find his sister Xialing, but it’s not a friendly welcome. Just like he thought, his father’s most skilled men come around and cause trouble.

The siblings fight off many men before finally being reunited with their father. The scary man who wears ten rings that give him immense power doesn’t want to hurt them, but he wants their help.

With light-hearted comedic moments of Awkwafina and insane, culturally-influenced fight and stunt scenes, it’s another film Marvel has successfully translated onto the big screen. Simu Liu stands out as the next big hero for this new Marvel phase.

Tony Leung Chiu-Wai’s portrayal as the antagonist was enthralling, and he made a fantastic supervillain. His character is silently intimidating and willing to do absolutely anything to get what he wants. At the same time, you can’t but help feel sorry for him; his mission is solely driven by his grief and the denial that the love of his life died.

The visual effects never seemed to be an eyesore like in other superhero films. All the elements flowed together to create something that was visually stunning, but also an important part of the story. It supports the argument that Marvel does the best special effects in the business.

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” has already broken Labor Day box office records. Just like any other Marvel movie, make sure you stay until the end for mid and post-credit scenes. It hints at what could be coming for the Shang-Chi group of characters and their influence on the rest of the Marvel cinematic universe.