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Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Review: Should We Watch It or Skip It?

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings have finally been released worldwide now. The film marks the first MCU film, which introduces an Asian Superhero in the lead.

Simu Liu, aka Sangchi is the son of a leader named Wenwu (The Mandarin). Wenwu’s character is inspired by the comic-book character Fu Manchu (Tony Leung).

The plot revolves around the father and the son; when Wenwu wanted his son to take over the responsibility, Shang-Chi decides to stand up against his father, trying to forget his past and the tragedy that tore his family apart.

We have recently watched the film in the theaters, and with that, we are here with the complete recap and review of the film.

This article might contain some major spoilers related to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, so if you haven’t watched the movie yet, we recommend you skip this portion.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Story

Around 1000 years ago, Shang-Chi’s father, Xu Wenwu, found the ten rings, a mystical weapon granting its holder immortality and exceptional powers.

After finding the rings, Wenwu forms a team of warriors known as Ten Rings, and with the help of them, Wenwu begins his journey to conquer kingdoms and gain power.

Then comes the year 1996 when Wenwu tries to invade a village called Ta Lo, as the town had many mythical beasts, so for the greed of power, Wenwu thinks about going to the village and take power from the beast.

But at the village entrance, he was stopped by Ying Li(Shang-Chi’s mother). They both fell in love and had two children; one is Shang-chi, another one was Xialing.

After having children and starting a new chapter in his, life Wenwu decides to leave the Ten Rings organization and start a new life.

But their happiness was short-lived when a rival gang of Ten Rings named Iron Gang murdered Ying Li.

Wenwu, after losing his wife, grieved and was maddened. He then massacred the members of the Iron Gang and started his criminal activity once again.

Xu Wenwu
Xu Wenwu in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (Pic Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures and Marvel Studios)

Shang-Chi’s Back Story

After losing his wife and Wenwu started training Shang-Chi and Xialing in the martial arts.

He sent Shang-Chi to assassinate the leader of the Iron Gang, and after accomplishing his mission, Shang-Chi was traumatized and decided to leave this life and ran to San Franciso and changed his name, Shaun.

Shang-Chi’s new life was as a valet with his friend Katy, and when one day they were on the bus, they both were attacked by a Ten Rings group led by Razor Fist.

Shang-Chi successfully fights them off and notices a pendant that his mother gave was missing, and the other pendant was with Xialing; he feared that the Ten Rings might target Xialing next for her pendant so he decides to track her down.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Simu Liu as Shang-Chi in the Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (Pic Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures and Marvel Studios)

In the meantime, he also explained his past life to Katy. Katy agrees to help him to find his sister. They were able to successfully track his sister down in an underground fight club in Macau.

They found out that Xialing owned that fight club, but the reunion with her sister wasn’t so amicable what Shang-Chi had expected.

As predicted by Shang-Chi, the fight club was attacked by the Ten Rings, and Wenwu suddenly arrived there and reunited with Shang-Chi, Katy, and Xialing.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: Who is Dweller? and Who is The Great Protector?

After reuniting with both his son and daughter, Wenwu reveals that their mother Li might still be alive and must have been kept in Ta Lo. He plans to infiltrate the village and destroy it to free his wife.

But when Shang-Chi, Katy, and Xialing object against his father’s proposal, he decides to imprison them in the compound and left. But they managed to escape the compound with the help of Slattery (played by Ben Kingsley).

With the help of Slattery, they arrive in Ta Lo and warn the villagers about the coming attack. There they also met Ying Nan, who is Li’s sister.

She explained Shang-Chi about the whole history of the village with the Ten Rings group; she explains that around 1000 years ago, this village was attacked by a soul-consuming Dweller-in-Darkness and his minions.

The Great Protector Shang-Chi
The Great Protector in the Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (Pic Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures and Marvel Studios)

But that time, the demon and his minions were defeated by a dragon called the Great Protector, who sealed the Dweller and the minions in the mountain.

According to her, the Dweller is still alive and is in the mountain, and Wenwu might be influenced by the Dweller, which makes him believe that Li is still alive. That is why he is planning to attack the village and break the seal.

The Final Confrontation Between Shang-Chi and Wenwu

After learning about the whole history of the Dweller, Shang-Chi, Xialing, and Katy decide to prepare the villagers for the attack, and then the final confrontation begins.

Wenwu and Ten Rings arrive to destroy the seal, and the fight between Wenwu and Shang-Chi starts. In the initial battle, Shang-Chi lost against Wenwu and was thrown into the nearby lake.

Dweller starts to use Li’s voice as a trick to influence Wenwu to go the mountain and break the seal. Wenwu, driven by Li’s voice, goes to the mountain, breaks the seal with his rings, and made the Dweller and the minions escape.

‘Ten Rings’ group finally understood what havoc they have caused, and Shang-Chi, this time, was still unconscious, but he gets resurrected by The Great Protector.

Finally, the great protector arrives from the water and starts battling the minions, and then the final fight between Shang-Chi and his father begins, and this time Shang-Chi becomes victorious.

Wenwu (Tony Leung) and Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) in Marvel Studios’ SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021.

Is Dweller Defeated?

Yes! the Dweller was defeated by the combined attack of Shang-Chi, The Great Protector, Xialing and Katy.

As the minions consumed the soul, the Dweller gained strength and tried to escape. But Wenwu sacrificed his life to save Shang-Chi and gave him the ten rings, and then Shang-Chi, along with The Great Protector, Xialing and Katy, manages to defeat and kill the Dweller.

Shang-Chi returns to San Francisco, where Wong summoned them to the Sanctum Sanctorum, where they met Bruce Banner(Hulk) and Carol Danvers(Captain Marvel).

There they discuss the strange, mysterious signal that the ten rings are emitting. We have a decided article related to the complete post-credit scene of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings; to know what happened in the mid and post-credit scene, please read this article.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Mid and the End Credits Scene Detailed Explanation

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Review: Watch It or Skip It?

Acting-wise, Simu Liu Awkwafina had great chemistry as a couple. The central aspect that anchors the film altogether is the love between Shaun and Katy or Wenwu and Li.

The first fight scene in the bus with Razor fist and the group was phenomenal; the whole set was refreshing and fun to watch, that it almost reminded us about the scaffolding scene in Rush Hour 2.

The film is packed with breathtaking action sequences, probably the best in MCU to date. The fights and action sequences, such as Wenwu vs. Xiang Li, were so great that they would engage the audience when they watch the film in the theaters.

Story-wise we think the story could have focused more on the backstory of Shang-Chi. We believe it would have been great if it could have shed some light on Shang-Chi’s childhood, as most of the significant backstory was about Wenwu.

But the Wenwu’s story of acquiring the ten rings, power, wealth army, and finally meeting the love of his life Xiang Li and their romantic relationship was beautifully portrayed on the screen.

Tony Leung as Xu Wenwu / Mandarin acting as a tragic romantic hero acter Li’s death was exceptional. But the film focuses so much on Wenwu’s backstory that it loses its interest in the main character.

As discussed above, the film could have been better if it had also focused on Shang-Chi’s character development.

Overall, the film is excellent full of action-packed the marvel fans will have a gala time for sure watching the breathtaking action sequences on the big screen. We would definitely recommend you to watch the film.

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