The first reviews are in for Marvel Studios' Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. The latest instalment in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) introduces us to the eponymous martial artist, played by Simu Liu in what's set to be his breakout role. Shang-Chi is locked in conflict with his father Wenwu (Tony Leung), who now adopts the alias of the criminal mastermind The Mandarin. Luckily, Shang-Chi has help on his side in the form of comic relief sidekick Katy (Awkwafina).
Reviewers have been quick to praise the film's pacy, exciting and visually stunning action sequences. They also say the movie, directed by Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12) is leavened with the heart and soul one would expected from the best kind of Marvel movie, in particular singling out Leung's charismatic and memorable performance. Scroll down to get the skinny on Shang-Chi.
Simu Liu asserts himself in the MCU
"Liu knocks it out of the park as Shang-Chi, adding a tad of levity to the known-to-be-serious comic book character.” – Laura Sirikul, Empire Magazine
“Simu Liu gives a charismatic, nicely understated performance, which helps mitigate the muddled storytelling.” – Tim Grierson, Screen International
The action sequences are stunning
“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings doesn’t just boast the best action of the MCU, it manages to do it with two (two!) eye-popping action sequences that unspool before the film’s first act is over.” – Kate Erbland, IndieWire
“At last, here is [director Destin Daniel Cretton] who knows martial arts is the core of the material, so Cretton ensures Shang-Chi’s action department will get full credit.” – Nguyen Le, JumpCut Online
Awkwafina steals the show
“Awkwafina in particular becomes a vital source of levity for the script, and a welcoming audience surrogate as the film ramps up to a large battle.” – Nick Allen, RogerEbert.com
Tony Leung is an excellent villain
“The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s best ‘villain’ yet… Leung effortlessly proves he’s one of our greatest screen actors of the past 40 years.” – Hoai-Tran Bui, Slashfilm
“It’s the best performance from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, because the passion and grief it expresses is appropriately Leung-sized.” – Nick Allen, RogerEbert.com
It's funny and spirited
“The cast manages to carry a strong sense of tongue-in-cheek humor throughout the film, with one later surprise character hailing straight from the Taika Waititi school of comedy.” – Hoai-Tran Bui, Slashfilm
“The finale of Shang-Chi is truly unlike anything that’s come before. It’s pure unadulterated spectacle, and so fantastical, it’s very much like watching a comic splash page come to life.” – Rohan Patel, ComicBook.com
It flies the flag for Asian representation in the MCU
“Shang-Chi makes major strides in representation; more than just plastering Asian faces on a screen, the film dives particularly deep into the Asian American experience.” – Jeffrey Zhang, Strange Harbors
“Getting to see myself reflected in a Marvel blockbuster flick, despite its flaws, makes me excited for what more we might see from Shang-Chi.” – Therese Lacson, The Beat
It will soon be time for you to make your own mind up. Click here to book your tickets for Marvel Studios' Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which is released in Cineworld cinemas on 3rd September.