Review: ‘Shang-Chi’ debuts as stunning, phenomenal movie


Amanda Hare

A picture of a “Shang Chi” poster sits next to a rating on the new movie. In the attached review, senior Amanda Hare discusses how much she enjoyed the movie. “It was phenomenal,” Hare said. “Every element of the movie tied together to create a high-quality, stunning piece.”

Every time a new Marvel movie comes out, my friends and I have a plan. The three of us are obsessed with Marvel, so we watch every new movie as soon as possible. We’ve started the tradition of watching the movie on the first day it comes out at 12:30 p.m. at the Cinemark at Frisco Square. They drive to my house and I drive us to the theater, and we sit in the exact same seats —  E13-15 —  in the exact same theater —  Theater 5.

As the “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” release date approached, we knew we wanted to continue our tradition. We followed our usual plan, and when we eventually got out of the movie, we were speechless.

“Shang-Chi” exceeded all of my expectations, and has become one of my favorite Marvel movies. It was phenomenal. Every element of the movie tied together to create a high-quality, stunning piece.

“Shang-Chi” exceeded all of my expectations, and has become one of my favorite Marvel movies. It was phenomenal. Every element of the movie tied together to create a high-quality, stunning piece.

— Amanda Hare

First, the cinematography was amazing, and the movie was absolutely beautiful. It was vibrant and gorgeous and the lighting made the scenes look even better. Previous Marvel movies have seemed a bit too gray or muted, but this movie  didn’t have that problem. The CGI was pretty and amplified the movie’s beauty, especially in Ta Lo.

I also loved the humor of the movie. It was more understated than other movies, but was perfect. The movie itself wasn’t bogged down with seriousness. It was lighthearted. The soundtrack was also phenomenal. Every song was great and fit the movie perfectly. Finally, the pacing was perfect, I didn’t feel that it took too long to get to the final battle, but it also didn’t drag on. There were amazing fight scenes throughout to keep viewers entertained as the story progressed. Furthermore, I was hooked from the beginning. Every scene — action or not — was interesting and left me wanting more, exactly as a movie should.

The best part of the movie by far, were those fight scenes. The choreography was fantastic and super impressive. They fought with a martial arts style, making it unique from other movies and characters. The scenes were extremely well done, and I would go as far as calling them some of the most impressive of the MCU. The bus scene was a great first fight scene, and the scene where they fought on the stilts on the side of the building was intense and so cool. The hand-to-hand martial arts fighting style was a nice contrast to the growing magical powers and fight scenes in the MCU as well.

The ten rings were also a super cool power. They were versatile, yet insanely strong. It was also awesome to look at visually and was used really well in both the plot and Shang-Chi’s personal journey. They were creative, and I think they may be one of my favorite “powers” in the MCU.

Shang-Chi also just made a fantastic protagonist. He was incredibly likable and relatable. He also had great character development throughout the movie, as he grew to accept his past and then take the ten rings from his father. The side characters were also great. Katy, Shang-Chi’s best friend, was funny, yet also had her own development throughout the story. Shang-Chi’s father, Wenwu, was a great antagonist. He was complex, but it was easy for viewers to understand his viewpoint and decisions. I ended up sympathizing with him, even though I hated him in a few moments.

I’d probably rate this movie a 9.5/10 because I really thought it was perfect. The only reason it isn’t a 10 is that while it was well done and I loved it, I’ve enjoyed other movies more even if they’re not as well done. I’m not usually a fan of fantastical worlds such as Ta Lo, which is the only thing going against the movie for me. For example, I thought the “Black Widow” movie wasn’t anywhere near as well done as this one, however, I may have enjoyed it more. This is most likely because of how much I love the main characters of the movie, and I’m usually more into spy movies such as that one or “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Overall, “Shang-Chi” stands as a phenomenal, must-watch movie for everyone, even non-Marvel fans. I think it may be one of the best MCU origin movies, along with Iron Man, of course. I’ve heard rumors of a second “Shang-Chi” movie coming in the future, and I can’t wait to see what’s next for these characters.

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