The summer film season comes to a close with an origin story. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Marvel’s 25th superhero epic, starring Simu Liu as the first Asian superhero.
Destin Daniel Cretton directs the film based on a narrative by Callaham and Cretton and a screenplay he co-wrote with Andrew Lanham and Dave Callaham. Tony Leung, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Yeoh, Benedict Wong, Florian Munteanu, Fala Chen, Meng’er Zhang, and Awkwafina feature Simu Liu as Shang-Chi. After being lured into his father’s Ten Rings organization, Shang-Chi is forced to confront his history in the film. It is produced by Marvel Studios and released by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures (MCU).
Critics praised the choreography of the action sequences, the research and portrayal of Asian culture, and Liu and Leung’s performances, and the film got good reviews.
On his walk inside the theatre, critic Bob Mondello had only one thought: ten rings — ten – and only six Infinity Stones. And how long did it take Thanos to gather the entire set? And, based on the trailers, the ten rings are more potent than anything in your universe. It turns out that collecting the rings isn’t the goal. They’ve been passed down through the family for generations, well, a thousand years.
The movie’s premise is that a man called Xu Wenwu discovers the ten rings, supernatural weapons that offer their owner immortality and immense power, a thousand years ago. Wenwu creates the Ten Rings, a secret organization of warriors, with the help of their strength. In 1996, Wenwu set out to find the town of Ta Lo, which is supposed to be home to several mythological animals, to increase his strength. He discovers the village’s entrance, but Ying Li, the village’s protector, prevents him from entering. After falling in love, the two have two children, Xu Xialing and Xu Shang-Chi. Wenwu gives up the ten rings and his organization to spend more time with his family.
Nevertheless, Li is assassinated by the Iron Gang, ancient adversaries of the Ten Rings, and Wenwu picks up the rings once more to slaughter them. Shang-Chi is transported to the Ten Rings’ complex to be taught by the Death-Dealer, a high-ranking member of the Ten Rings, in all types of fighting. At the age of 14, Wenwu dispatches Shang-Chi to murder the Iron Gang’s boss. Shang-Chi, however, is unable to carry out his father’s orders and flees to the United States, where he takes the name “Shaun.”
Shang-Chi lives in San Francisco with Katy Chen, his high school best friend, and works as a valet ten years later. Shang-Chi and Katy are ambushed one day on their way to work on the Muni Metro by members of the Ten Rings commanded by Razor Fist, who take a pendant gifted to Shang-Chi by his mother. Shang-Chi and Katy resolve to seek down Xialing because they are afraid the Ten Rings will take a second similar pendant handed to her. They ultimately track her down to an underground fight club she owns. Xialing shows her displeasure with Shang-abandonment Chi’s of her. Wenwu and the Ten Rings attack the fight club, capturing Xialing, Katy, and Shang-Chi and stealing Xialing’s pendant. They are returned to the Ten Rings’ compound, where Wenwu informs them that he believes Li is still alive and being held in Ta Lo. He creates a map with the two pendants that may be utilized to access the settlement. Shang-Chi, Katy, and Xialing are aided in their escape from the compound by former actor Trevor Slattery.
The gang travels to Ta Lo, where they encounter Ying Nan, Shang-Chi and Xialing’s aunt. She tells the party about the village’s history: thousands of years ago, it was invaded by the soul-sucking Dweller-in-Darkness and his henchmen. However, the community was spared by a dragon known as the Great Protector, who assisted in sealing the Dweller and his henchmen in a mountain. The Dweller has been convincing Wenwu that Li is still alive and behind the wall, allowing him to open it and liberate the Dweller. Wenwu and the Ten Rings arrive to rescue the Dweller, and a struggle erupts between them and the hamlet’s inhabitants. Wenwu and Shang-Chi struggle, and Wenwu throws Shang-Chi into a neighbouring lake, where he drowns. Wenwu begins to breach the seal, allowing many of the Dweller’s minions to flee. To halt the minions, the villagers and the Ten Rings reach an agreement. The Great Protector revives Shang-body Chi’s in the lake, and he emerges from the water to combat the minions. Shang-Chi and Wenwu battle again, and this time Shang-Chi utilizes the Great Protector’s strength to disable Wenwu. The Dweller escapes the weakening seal and devours Wenwu’s soul, but not before Wenwu hands over the ten rings to Shang-Chi. The united powers of Katy, the Great Protector, Shang-Chi, and Xialing ultimately slay the Dweller.
Katy and Shang-Chi return to San Francisco, where they meet the sorcerer Wong, who transfers them to the Sanctum Sanctorum, where they meet Carol Danvers and Bruce Banner and learn that the ten rings are transmitting an unknown signal. In a post-credits sequence, Xialing ascends to the position of Ten Rings commander.
The film is now ready to welcome MCU fans into a whole new area of Hollywood’s most popular shared universe, bringing the Marvel comic book universe’s best hand-to-hand combatant to the big screen for the first time.
Shang-Chi battles his crime-lord father, the Mandarin, to control the mythical Ten Rings in The Legend of the Ten Rings. Even though the ten rings are deep in Marvel Comics heritage, especially Iron Man lore, it appears that that past will be freely altered for the MCU, helping to build a unique, fresh mythos for the MCU Shang-Chi.
There appears to be much Asian-influenced mystique and mystery in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, with magic, martial arts, and even a dragon in the mix.