TV & Movies

'Shang-Chi' Wins Over Early Critics as 'a Triumph' and 'Fiercely Asian American Superhero Film'

Tony Leung’s Wenwu praised as ”one of the best MCU villains yet“

Disney/Marvel

The reviews are in for “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” Marvel Studios’ first solo superhero movie featuring an Asian lead and ensemble cast, and critics call the movie “a triumph,” “a groundbreaking step of representation” and “a fiercely Asian American superhero film.”

Along with praising the grounded action scenes in the film’s first half, Tony Leung’s villain Wenwu gets noticed for being “one of the best MCU villains yet.”

“If Marvel Studios has thus far made slow progress in developing solo adventures for its many superheroes of color, it takes another successful stride, if not quite as sizable as “Black Panther,” with “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” a film that builds simultaneously on the lexicon of 50 years of Hong Kong action films and the thematic boilerplate of MCU origin stories,” wrote TheWrap’s Todd Gilchrist in his review.

“A mostly decent Marvel movie buoyed by crisp, kinetic action and the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s best ‘villain’ yet,” wrote Slashfilm’s Hoai-Tran Bui.

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a genuine triumph for Marvel Studios, a true family drama with plenty of charm and a myriad of winning performances from the outstanding cast led by Simu Liu and Tony Leung. It opens a whole new world of possibilities for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and will hopefully leaving you dreaming of the countless mystical directions the story could go next,” wrote ComicBookMovie’s Rohan Patel.

“Shang-Chi certainly deserves credit as a groundbreaking step of representation in mega-budget filmmaking. You just desperately wish that the terrain it treads upon didn’t feel so safe,” wrote the Observer’s Oliver Jones.

“Director Destin Daniel Cretton has created a film that is action packed, emotionally satisfying and surprisingly hilarious. Asian Americans can finally feel like a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe,” wrote POCCulture’s Ron Seoul-Oh.

“Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings successfully introduces the newest Avenger to audiences through spectacular action sequences, memorable characters, and above all, an emotionally resonant narrative. The film will not only enthrall viewers, but will certainly hit home with Asian audiences thanks to its celebration of authentic identity,” wrote Heroic Hollywood’s Noah Villaverde.

“Featuring funny and endearing moments amid beautifully choreographed action sequences, Shang-Chi excels as a story about family and how it can be twisted by grief. Simu Liu, Awkwafina, and Tony Leung bring multi-faceted characters to life and, despite pacing issues, it delivers a hugely entertaining step in the right direction for Asian representation,” wrote IGN’s Laura Sirikul.

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s best origin stories to date, filled with stunningly choreographed action, unexpected laughs, and a whole lot of heart,” wrote Comicbook’s Jami Jirak.

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a superb blend of East meets West. It’s a beautiful celebration of culture and triumph for the Asian community. The ensemble as a whole is a knockout that carries the film to greater heights,” wrote Discussing Film’s A. Felicia Wade.

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” opens in theaters on Friday, September 3. The film also stars Awkwafina and is directed by Destin Daniel Cretton.

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