The first reactions to Marvel Studios’ new movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings are here. Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe officially kicked off at the beginning of 2021 with the release of WandaVision, but it wasn’t until Black Widow’s release in theaters and on Disney+ in May that ended a two-plus year drought of MCU movie releases. While Scarlett Johansson’s long-awaited solo movie is still making headlines, Marvel Studios is now in the final stages of preparing for the second Phase 4 MCU movie.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was first announced by Marvel Studios at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, where Kevin Feige confirmed Simu Liu would play the Master of Kung Fu. The latest addition to the MCU’s growing roster of heroes will rise in this origin story set after Avengers: Endgame when his father Wenwu (Tony Leung), who is the real Mandarin and leader of the Ten Rings, calls him back into action. Shang-Chi is the MCU’s first Asian-led movie, features a supporting cast that includes Michelle Yeoh and Awkwafina, and is directed by Destin Daniel Cretton. After delivering several exhilarating trailers (and making it through a few pandemic-related delays), the first reactions Shang-Chi have arrived.
The very positive early reactions to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings all have one thing in common: the action is among the best to ever happen in an MCU movie. From the very beginning of the movie’s development, it was teased that the movie would rightfully be a martial arts movie with superpowers. Shang-Chi’s trailers did a great job of showing glimpses of the various sequences audiences will get to see, but it sounds like the movie is an even better showcase for them. While there are plenty of people who helped make this possible, Simu Liu’s ability to do most of the fighting himself likely deserves a lot of credit to make Shang-Chi’s action so believable.
As with most first reactions to movies, these Shang-Chi reactions are incredibly light on the film’s negatives. While it is safe to say that the movie has its flaws, MCU fans will be happy to hear that the early response is so positive. Shang-Chi isn’t an incredibly popular character yet, but he is an important one for Marvel’s future. It sounds like Marvel Studios gave him a compelling origin story and nailed its decision to cast Liu as the hero. And if the response to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings remains this positive, it will be fascinating to see just how well it performs given the current conditions of the theatrical business.