- “A Marvel legend will rise.”
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a Marvel film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. It was released on September 3, 2021 . It is the twenty-fifth film in the MCU and the second film of Phase Four.
Thousands of years ago, Xu Wenwu finds the Ten Rings, ten mystical weapons that grant their user immortality and great power. Wenwu amasses an army of warriors called the Ten Rings and conquers many kingdoms and topples governments throughout history. In 1996, Wenwu begins searching for the village of Ta Lo, which is said to harbor various mythical beasts, in order to expand his power. He finds the entrance of the village but is stopped from entering by the village's guardian, Ying Li. The two fall in love and have two children, Shang-Chi and Xialing. Wenwu abandons the ten rings and his organization to be with his family. However, Li is eventually murdered by the Iron Gang, old rivals of the Ten Rings, and Wenwu once again takes up the rings to exact deadly revenge against them and resume his criminal activities. Shang-Chi begins training in martial arts, becoming a master of hand-to-hand combat, and is sent by Wenwu at the age of 14 to assassinate the leader of the Iron Gang. After fulfilling his mission, a traumatized Shang-Chi escapes to San Francisco, where he adopts the name "Shaun".
In the present day, Shang-Chi works as a valet with his best friend, Katy. While on the bus on their way to work, Shang-Chi and Katy are attacked by the Ten Rings led by Razor Fist. Shang-Chi fights them off but discovers that his pendant given to him by his mother has been taken. Fearing that the Ten Rings will attack Xialing for her pendant, Shang-Chi decides to track her down and reveals his past to Katy, who agrees to help him. They find her at an Golden Daggers Club in Macau, which she owns; Xialing expresses her resentment toward Shang-Chi and their father. The fight club is then attacked by the Ten Rings, with Wenwu unexpectedly arriving to capture Shang-Chi, Katy, and Xialing.
They are taken to the Ten Rings' compound, where Wenwu reveals that he believes Li is still alive and is being kept in Ta Lo, using the two pendants to create a map that can be used to enter the village. Wenwu plans to destroy the village after freeing his wife and imprisons his children and Katy when they object. The three escape the compound with the help of former actor Trevor Slattery, whom the Ten Rings imprisoned for impersonating Wenwu.
Guided by Slattery's Dijiang companion Morris, the group drives to Ta Lo to warn the village of the Ten Rings and meet Ying Nan, Li's sister. She reveals to the group the history of Ta Lo: thousands of years ago, it was attacked by the soul-consuming Dweller-in-Darkness and his minions. However, the village was saved by a dragon called the Great Protector, who helped seal the Dweller and his minions in a mountain. According to Nan, the Dweller has been influencing Wenwu into believing Li is still alive so he will use the rings to break the seal. The villagers, Shang-Chi, Xialing, and Katy train and prepare for their arrival.
Wenwu and the Ten Rings arrive to destroy the seal and a battle ensues. Wenwu and Shang-Chi fight, which ends with Wenwu casting Shang-Chi into the nearby lake. Guided by Li's voice, Wenwu begins breaking down the seal with the rings, which unbeknownst to him causes many of the Dweller's minions to escape. The villagers and the Ten Rings call a truce in order to stop the minions. Shang-Chi is revived by the Great Protector before rising out of the water to battle the minions. Wenwu and Shang-Chi fight once more, with Shang-Chi emerging victorious. Strengthened by the souls taken by the minions, the Dweller escapes. Recognizing that his wife is dead, a humbled Wenwu sacrifices himself to save Shang-Chi and gives him the ten rings. The Dweller is eventually killed by the combined efforts of Shang-Chi, the Great Protector, Xialing, and Katy.
Shang-Chi and Katy return to San Francisco, where they are summoned by the sorcerer Wong to accompany him to the Sanctum Sanctorum. In the mid-credits scene, Shang-Chi speaks with Bruce Banner and Carol Danvers, and discover that the ten rings are emitting a mysterious signal. Wong tells them to get rest for the journey ahead. They agree, but first they have an idea. All three of them go to a karaoke bar and have a good time. In the post-credits scene, Xialing becomes the new leader of the Ten Rings. She tells her men that they have work to do.
- Simu Liu as Shaun/Shang-Chi
- Jayden Tianyi Zhang as Young Shang-Chi
- Arnold Sun as Teen Shang-Chi
- Tony Leung Chiu-Wai as Xu Wenwu
- Awkwafina as Katy
- Ben Kingsley as Trevor Slattery
- Meng'er Zhang as Xialing
- Elodie Fong as Young Xialing
- Harmonie He as Teen Xialing
- Fala Chen as Li
- Michelle Yeoh as Ying Nan
- Yuen Wah as Master Guang Bo
- Florian Munteanu as Razor Fist
- Andy Le as Death Dealer
- Stephanie Hsu as Soo
- Benedict Wong as Wong
- Jodi Long as Mrs. Chen
- Dallas Liu as Ruihua
- Ronny Chieng as Jon Jon
- Fernando Chien as Gao Lei
- Zach Cherry as Klev
- Dee Bradley Baker as Morris (voice)
- Tim Roth as Abomination (Uncredited)
- Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner (Uncredited)
- Brie Larson as Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel (Uncredited)
Filming wrapped on October 24, 2020. The teaser trailer was released on April 19, 2021.
- Main article: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (soundtrack)
Recording for the film's score, composed by Joel P. West, began at Abbey Road Studios in London in June 2021. The film's score album was released digitally by Marvel Music and Hollywood Records on September 1, 2021.
Marvel Music, Hollywood Records, and Interscope Records also released four separate singles ahead of the film's release: "Lazy Susan" by 21 Savage and Rich Brian, "Every Summertime" by Niki, "Run It" by DJ Snake, Rick Ross, and Brian, and "In the Dark" by Swae Lee. A soundtrack album containing these songs was released on September 3, and includes songs by JJ Lin, Saweetie, and Anderson Paak.
Released in theaters on September 3, 2021, the film had a 45-day exclusive theatrical release, rather than being released simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access like Black Widow. In August 2021, with the increase of COVID-19 Delta variant cases, Disney CEO Bob Chapek explained that the film would stay theatrical-only due to "the practicality of last-minute changes" and called the 45-day exclusivity "an interesting experiment" for the company to learn more on how consumers wished to view and consume their films; Liu took issue with Chapek calling the film an experiment, with Feige later stating Liu's response appeared to be a misunderstanding on Chapek's intention.
- Main article: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (video)
On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 91% based on 323 reviews, with an average rating of 7.50/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings isn't entirely free of Marvel's familiar formula, but this exciting origin story expands the MCU in more ways than one." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 71 out of 100, based on 52 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
- This is the first Asian-led Marvel film and the first Disney film released in September (not including the films released by the company under the 20th Century Studios banner).
- This is the second Disney released film in 2021 to be released exclusively in theaters for 45 days instead of simultaneously in theaters and streaming services (like Disney+ with Premier Access or Hulu/Disney+ Star Hub) after Free Guy.
- This film is the first major reappearance of the Ten Rings, since All Hail the King, building on that short's revelation that Aldrich Killian and Trevor Slattery were both impostors stealing the identity of Xu Wenwu (who is still referred to as "The Mandarin" in the short film).
- Michelle Yeoh previously played Aleta Ogord in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
- The first teaser poster and trailer for the film were released on Simu Liu's birthday.
- This marks the first MCU film since Captain Marvel to feature a "will return" statement in the end credits.
- This marks the second time since The Incredible Hulk that the character Abomination has appeared in a Marvel Studios film. It's unknown how he got out of his S.H.I.E.L.D. cryo-prison.
- This movie marks the return of Trevor Slattery, who was last seen in All Hail the King, meaning he's been imprisoned for over a decade by the Ten Rings
- Unlike the comics, where the Mandarin's ten rings are worn on his fingers, they were changed to armbands in the MCU to avoid similarity with the Infinity Gauntlet.
- Given the martial arts theme of the film, this is also a practical change, as it keeps the fingers safe from damage by traditional rings when fists make impacts.
- Unlike the comics, it is implied that the ten rings' powers are shared between them, rather than each one having an individual
- The letter in the symbol of Ten Rings has been changed from Mongolian to Chinese, after the controversies from Mongolia.
- Bruce Banner is not in his Professor Hulk form; instead of being a regular human, with his arm still in a sling.
- Trevor mentions that, as a kid, he used to watch the film Planet of the Apes. The franchise, including the aforementioned film, was acquired by Disney in 2019 during its acquisition of 20th Century Fox.
- Despite the movie having a mostly Chinese cast and crew, and it deals with Chinese culture and society, it was boycotted in China due to the character name issue for the Mandarin (which referred to Fu Manchu), even though Disney changed the name to Xu Wenwu in December 2020 after Tony Leung Chiu-Wai reported the controversies in China.
- This marks the second Chinese-centered live-action Disney movie to receive backlash from China, the first being the 2020 Mulan movie.
- Following this film, Eternals, was also be boycotted in China due to the controversies of Chloé Zhao's speech in 2013 (which already caused the cancelation release of Nomadland and banned of 93th Academy Awards official live in China), and later found that Shang-Chi's clip were appear in the Marvel Studios' logo (which also caused Spider-Man: No Way Home have no release date in China even Sony promise the film will release).
- In addition, Iron Man 3 was also boycotted in China after Shang-Chi's release because it contains stories including The Mandarin and The Ten Rings.
- Awkwafina is in Raya and the Last Dragon which also came out in 2021.
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on Wikipedia
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki