Marvel’s New Era


Caitlin Cassidy, Guest Contributor

Marvel has done it again, producing another hit superhero movie and breaking the mold of the classic characters. Featuring the first Asian lead for Marvel, “Shang-Chi: The Legend of The Ten Rings” is undeniably good.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has strategical woven plotlines and characters for years, dating back to 2008. Even without knowing the MCU inside and out Shang-Chi is worth the watch.

The story opens with Sean aka Shang-Chi and how his parents met in a flashback. Sean and Katy (Awkwafina), live in San Francisco working at a valet service. The two have been best friends since Sean moved to America.

When Sean and Katy are attacked on the city bus, he knows his father is behind it. He and Katy fly to Macau to warn his sister, Xialing, of his father’s sudden return to their lives. In Macau, at Xialing’s underground fight club, the Ten Rings attack.

The Ten Rings, his father’s army, bring the three of them back to the Ten Rings Headquarters, where Shaun and Xialing grew up. Their father believes to hear their mother’s voice. He wants them to help find her mystical village, Tao-Lo where he thinks she is hiding.

The journey to Tao-Lo leads the family to finally understand what the meaning behind secrets in their lives are.

This movie is one of the better Marvel movies in my opinion. Marvel’s casting is generally spot on, but this film takes casting to a whole new level.

Simu Liu, Shaun/Shang-Chi, is the best lead Marvel has casted for their new era. The turnover of old to new for the MCU means keeping older fans and gaining younger ones. The humor and passion brought on by Liu shined throughout the film.

Liu isn’t the only actor who made this film shine. Awkwafinia, Tony Leung Chiu-wai and Meng’er Zhang bring the film to life. Their portrayal of their characters was perfection. When Shang-Chi, Xialing (Zhang) and their father (Chiu-wai) are together on screen, their family chemistry is tangible.

Along with casting, the combat scenes are perfection. Extensive choreography makes fight scenes seamless with the animation of certain characters.

At the end of the film there is a classic final fight scene. Shang-Chi and his father go head-to-head. Dragons, mythical creatures, and stunts unimaginable help make the scene come to life.

This movie reminded me a lot of “Black Panther”. “Black Panther” broke boundaries Marvel had never dared to touch before. It was the first mainly black cast for Marvel and the CGI was incredible in the film.

Shang-Chi was similar in the sense that it too looked to break out of the mold. Not only was the movie breaking racial stereotypes but also had powerful female characters, similar to “Black Panther”. The two movies are some of Marvels best work.

Overall “Shang-Chi: The Legend of the Ten Rings” will be one of the forerunners of Marvel’s new era.

The fight scenes and breakthrough of young new actors allowed this movie to soar. I would give this movie a 4.5 out of 5 stars. I would highly recommend this movie for those who are Marvel fanatics.