Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Running time:132 minutes
Director:Destin Daniel Cretton
Release date:03 september 2021
Shang-Chi will have to confront a past he thought he had left behind when he is caught in the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organization.

Mulder's Review

Marvel Studios never ceases to surprise us in their will to give life to characters of the Marvel universe by giving them a real psychological thickness and a realistic approach. Far from wanting to appear as brainless blockbusters, each of the movies coming from the Marvel cinematographic universe relies on directors totally invested and on castings perfectly in phase with the characters so much appreciated by the readers of comics and fed to the video games. 

In this sense, the twenty-fifth film of the Marvel Cinematographic Universe stands out as a new undeniable success and above all on a succession of scenes each more impressive than the other. After having tackled the spy movie with Black Widow released this year, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings turns to the Asian action movie and it is not a coincidence to find in the credits around Simu Liu, Awkwafina, Meng'er Zhang, Fala Chen, Florian Munteanu, Benedict Wong, Michelle Yeoh and Tony Leung.

Marvel Studios' goal is to give directors who are used to working in American independent cinema the means to bring to life films with a true auteur vision. The director and writer Destin Daniel Cretton has made a name for himself with films such as Short term 12 (2013), The Glass Castle (2017) and The Way of Justice (Just Mercy) (2019), all three of which starred actress Brie Larson. For his first action film, Destin Daniel Cretton proves to be really gifted to give life to anthological action scenes (like the one of the bus visible in the trailer). 

The character of Shang-Chi is not as popular as Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk, Thor or Spider-man, but he has been successful enough with comic book readers to have his own movie. Created by writer Steve Englehart and artist Jim Starlin, this character first appeared in Special Marvel Edition #15 (1973). His adaptation to the cinema marks a first because it is the first time that a film of Marvel Studios has a majority Asian cast and especially seems to have been created to pay tribute to the Hong Kong action cinema but also as a desire not to be a new experience for these studios but rather to approach the universe of Marvel superheroes under a new angle. We will appreciate the different allusions to Iron-Man by the presence of the actor Ben Kingsley who takes over his role of Trevor Slattery but also the presence of the character Abomination from the Hulk universe and the character Wong (still played by the actor Benedict Wong).

In this first film, which allows us to set up the different characters of Shang-Chi's universe, this one, after having fled from the influence of his father, The Mandarin (Tony Leung), has to face the past that he thought he had left behind when he is dragged into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organization.  Shang-Chi, who works as a valet with his friend Katy (Awwafina) and tries to forget his past, has no other choice after being attacked in the American city of San Francisco in a bus to go and find his sister and especially to confront his father who has never recovered from the murder of his wife during Shang-Chi's childhood.

The original cut of the film makes that the action takes place mainly in Asia after an introduction in San Francisco and gradually turns to a real tribute to Asian action movies with many fight scenes but also a local folklore with its share of monsters of all kinds. Far from wanting to be in the continuity of the cult Avengers saga, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings expands the Marvel universe and proves to be perfectly orchestrated to impose solid bases. In this sense, we can't advise you enough to stay until the end of the credits to discover two excellent scenes placing this movie in the Avengers universe but also making us understand the possible evolution of Shang-Chi's universe and his central place in the movies to come.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton
Screenplay by Dave Callaham, Destin Daniel Cretton, Andrew Lanham
Story by Dave Callaham, Destin Daniel Cretton
Based on Marvel Comics
Produced by Kevin Feige, Jonathan Schwartz
Starring Simu Liu, Awkwafina, Meng'er Zhang, Fala Chen, Florian Munteanu, Benedict Wong, Michelle Yeoh, Ben Kingsley, Tony Leung
Music by Joel P. West
Cinematography : William Pope
Edited by Nat Sanders, Elísabet Ronaldsdóttir, Harry Yoon
Production company : Marvel Studios
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Release date : August 16, 2021 (Los Angeles), September 1, 2021 (France), September 3, 2021 (United States)
Running time : 132 minutes

Seen on September 01, 2021 at Gaumont Disney Village, IMAX Room 11, seat E21

Mulder's Mark: