My Thoughts on Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

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Seamus Dowling, Writer

Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the 25th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, hit theatres on September third. Many people said that it would flop and result in future movies in the MCU being delayed. However, it smashed those expectations with a stellar 127.6 million dollars worldwide. 

Considering that we are still in the pandemic, as the Delta Variant is scaring people not to do things in public, such as seeing movies, it is very impressive. In fact, the only movie that grossed more money on its opening weekend during the pandemic is Black Widow, which is another movie in the MCU. 

Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings also broke Rob Zombie’s Halloween (2007) total gross over Labor Day weekend.

But was the movie good, or were people just going out to see it because they wanted some normalcy? The answer is that it was amazing because of the characters, the story, and how fresh it felt.

The movie felt fresh because it did not stick to the copy and paste superhero movie format very often.

It is a top-four origin story behind Iron Man, Doctor Strange, and The Guardians of the Galaxy.

I saw the movie twice and loved it on both viewings.  

I decided to experiment with an idea that I had been kicking around for a while, probably since last year when I first took journalism. That idea was taking notes during the movie, so I could write a movie review filled with my thoughts as the scenes were happening.


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*SPOILER ALERT: Do not read this before you see Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings if you are interested in seeing it. If you do not care, then read along. Okay, you have been warned.

These are my notes from the first viewing:

“The opening scene establishes the villain.”

“Interesting and grand world-building”

“The Ten Rings are cool.”

“The martial arts are fantastic, and it is cool to see them in a Marvel movie.”

“Overall, the soundtrack is good, and the music that plays on the bus fight scene is my favorite.”

“The setting is in San Francisco like Ant-Man and Ant-Man and the Wasp.”

“The bus fight scene is breathtaking and a true gem.”

“Takes place after the blip (when everyone that Thanos snapped came back to life).”

“Shang and Katy have standout chemistry in every single scene that they are in together.”

“The choreography is incredible and has to be seen to believe how good it is.”

“The humor is good and mostly not distracting.”

“Dark web”

“Seeing Wong is cool because I like him and want to see more of him in upcoming movies.”


“Abomination is more comic book accurate in this movie than in The Incredible Hulk.”

“Wow, the fighting is just incredible.”

“Shang’s sister, Xialing, is very good at fighting.”

“The death dealers are a sick and menacing edition to the martial art elements of the movie.”

“Wenwu, Shang’s father, is a villain like Killmonger or Vulture where he is more sympathetic.”

“This movie feels a lot like Black Panther, and I like it a lot.”

“A lot of Asian flares”

“There is detailed character development for Shang that makes him two-sided.”

“The death of Shang’s mom felt a little cliche in my opinion.”

“Trevor is back, and he stole the show because he is funny and works well in the story.”

“What is Morris?”

“Morris looks like a dog with no head crossed with the spirt animal from Coco.”

“Ta Lo is a beautiful setting with animals from Chinese lore like the foxes and the dragon-like horses.”

“Weird green screen”

“The BMW product placement is kind of annoying.”

“The final battle was a cool concept, and it did not feel like the cliche CGI fight at the end of superhero/supervillain movies.”

“The Great Protector was a very cool addition and same with the demon monster.”

“Wenwu’s death was sad because he was protecting his son.”


“The credit scenes were fantastic and worth staying through the credits.”

“The first credit scene with Hulk and Captain Marvel is so cool.”

“Hulk is back as Bruce Banner, but how?”


“The second credit scene is just as cool as the first.”

“Xiang as the new leader of Ten Rings and the screen with “The Ten Rings will return” sets up a TV show or movie, I think.”

“Is Xialing now bad, or is she going to be recruited into the Dark Avengers?”

“Wow, this movie is just very, very refreshing in a superhero movie-dominated time.”

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Here are my notes from the second viewing:

“The opening scene fight with Wenwu and Leiko Wu, Shang’s mom, is like a dance, perhaps the tango.”

“I can’t tell if the water coming out of the wall and turning into a maze is CGI.”

“The forest maze is very creative and raises the stakes.”

“Dance Dance Revolution”

“Shang is a complex character with flaws and has to overcome and face them.”

“I thought I would see more of the Ten Rings, but it was not the biggest issue.”

“The underground fight club is cool, and I liked the look of it. It looked very urban with the graffiti.”

“The bamboo scaffolding fight in Macau was refreshing and very intense and fluid.”

“I thought that Shang was less charismatic than Katy, probably because Katy is played Awkwafina, who is a comedian.”


Besides a little nitpicking, Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was amazing with the characters, the choreography and the fighting, the Chinese flares, etc.

Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a movie that was not afraid to be different, but because of many elements that work fantastically, like the fights and the characters, I give Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings a nine out of ten.

Go see it again and again because it is that worth it.