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Destin Daniel Cretton
Simu Liu, Awkwafina, Michelle Yeoh
Writing Credits:
Dave Callaham, Destin Daniel Cretton, Andrew Lanham

Master of weaponry-based Kung Fu, Shang-Chi is forced to confront his past after being drawn into the Ten Rings organization.

Box Office:
$200 million.
Opening Weekend:
$75,388,688 on 4300 Screens.
Domestic Gross:

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English Dolby Atmos
English Descriptive Audio 2.0
Spanish Dolby_ 7.1
French Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 132 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 11/30/2021

• Audio Commentary with Director Destin Daniel Cretton and Screenwriter Dave Callaham
• “Building a Legacy” Featurette
• “Family Ties” Featurette
• Gag Reel
• 11 Deleted Scenes
• Blu-ray Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Sony UBP-X800 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings [4K UHD] (2021)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 2, 2022)

Never a company to ignore trends, Marvel Comics took advantage of the early 1970s martial arts wave exemplified by the popularity of Bruce Lee as well as the Kung Fu TV series. This led to the late 1974 debut of a character named Shang-Chi.

As the star of a comic called Master of Kung Fu, Shang-Chi lasted about a decade before that book got cancelled. Despite occasional revivals, the character remained pretty obscure until the summer 2021 release of the big-budget Marvel Cinematic Universe flick Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

Over 1000 years ago, Xu Wenwu (Tony Leung) finds and captures the Ten Rings, objects that grant their wearer immortality and immense powers. In 1996, he attempts to breach the magical village of Ta Lo but finds himself stopped by its guardian, Ying Li (Fala Chen).

Despite this contentious meeting, the pair fall in love, marry, and have two children. When Shang-Chi (Jayen Zhang) is seven, his mother dies and his father trains him to be an assassin.

At 14, Wenwu orders Shang-Chi (Arnold Sun) to perform an assassination and the teen flees instead. He winds up in San Francisco, where as a 25-year-old (Simu Liu), Shang-Chi parks cars with his BFF Katy (Awkafina) and generally ignores any hints that he needs to pursue a more ambitious course for his life.

This all changes when some of Wenwu’s assassins find Shang-Chi and steal a jade pendant that he got from his mother. With Katy along as well, this eventually leads him to Macau, where he reunites with his estranged younger sister Xialing (Meng'er Zhang) and deals with the continued threat from his father.

40 years ago, I got into comics in a massive way and I would literally buy everything Marvel and DC produced. Of course, I liked some a lot more than others, and I purchased some due to my compulsive “completist” gene.

Master of Kung Fu fell into that category. I felt so little interest in that magazine that when I heard about Legend of the Ten Rings, I didn’t remember the Shang-Chi character at all. Only when I saw some covers from the old comics did it ring a bell and I realized I read the books in my teens.

Unsurprisingly, this left me less than excited to see Rings. It didn’t help that martial arts movies have never been among my faves, so a flick about a forgotten character that fell into that genre left me cool.

Some of my “completist” gene still exists, so I see every MCU movie, even the ones that don’t look especially interesting to me. In this case, that leap of faith paid off, as Rings turned into a highly entertaining adventure.

Not that I felt confident about this outcome during the film’s introduction, however. The prologue with Wenwu and Ying Li comes with a “been there, done that” feel, so I feared the whole movie would turn into warmed over Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon material.

Once we get to modern-day and meet adult Shang-Chi, however, matters improve immensely. The expository scenes that let us get to know him and Katy prove fun, and then once Wenwu’s assassins arrive, the action leaps into high gear.

Not since Speed 27 years earlier have we gotten so much excitement from a bus ride! Though 2021’s Nobody also includes a dynamic battle on a bus, so I shouldn’t single out Rings, I guess.

Nonetheless, this fight launches our view of Shang-Chi’s martial arts skills in a fantastic manner and it sets the stage for many more lively scenes to come. After all these years and so many movies, it can’t be easy to find creative ways to stage sequences of this sort, but Rings manages to find its own way.

As for the plot… well, it can feel a bit messy at times. I won’t dig into the narrative more than I already do in my synopsis, but it goes down a few complicated paths and can seem more rambling than it needs to be.

Despite that, the story moves at a good pace and the plotting issues never turn into a real concern. Does everything make sense? Not really, but that’s true for every MCU movie, so I won’t fault Rings too much for some awkward elements.

We get a nice group of actors here, and all flesh out their roles well. I appreciate that Rings features almost nothing but Asians in these parts, as I’m sure someone in marketing pushed to get a white sidekick for Shang-Chi to help give the movie broader “ethnic appeal”.

Outside of Wenwu’s main henchman and a character who returns from another MCU movie – no spoilers here! – the cast remains entirely Asian. That feels refreshing.

Liu does fine as our lead, even if he occasionally gets a little lost in the mayhem. Awkwafina becomes the most memorable of the performers, though, as she mixes her usual comedic chops with heart and spirit to make Katy the most interesting of the roles.

Really, almost everything about Rings clicks. We’re still early in the post-Endgame MCU but it’s the best of that bunch so far.

Footnote: I probably don’t need to tell you that Rings comes with added scenes during and at the conclusion of the end credits, but I will anyway.

The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio A-/ Bonus B-

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. The 4K UHD appeared to replicate the source material nicely.

Sharpness remained solid. Virtually no softness materialized, so the movie demonstrated positive definition.

Jagged edges and shimmering failed to occur, and I witnessed no signs of edge enhancement. Print flaws weren’t a factor, so the movie always remained clean and fresh.

Like most modern action movies, Rings went with a stylized palette that favored amber and teal. These choices seemed predictable, but the disc replicated them as intended, and the HDR boasted nice range and impact.

Blacks appeared deep and dark, while shadows displayed good clarity and smoothness. HDR contributed power to whites and contrast. Overall, I liked this consistently strong presentation.

Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the Dolby Atmos soundtrack of Rings also worked well, as the movie boasted a wide and involving soundfield. This showed up during scenes both loud and quiet.

During the latter, music offered nice stereo presence. Various environmental elements displayed quality localization and involvement.

The bigger sequences added more pizzazz to the package. These used all the channels in a satisfying manner, as the action scenes created a lot of useful material. From start to finish, the mix used the speakers in a way that gave real life to the proceedings.

In addition, audio quality was strong. Music appeared vivid and full, with crisp highs and rich lows.

Speech was concise and natural, so no issues affected the lines. Effects appeared to be accurate and lively.

Those elements lacked distortion and they boasted nice low-end during their louder moments. Overall, I felt pleased with the mix.

How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray version? The 4K’s Atmos track opened up a little more over the BD’s 7.1 mix.

As for the visuals, the 4K brought moderately superior definition, colors and blacks. While the Blu-ray worked fine, the 4K fared better.

No extras appear on the 4K disc, but we get some on the included Blu-ray copy, where we launch with an audio commentary from director Destin Daniel Cretton and screenwriter Dave Callaham. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific discussion of the source comics and their adaptation, story and characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, music and costumes, various effects, stunts and action.

Overall, this becomes a decent commentary but not one that ever excels. While Cretton and Callaham deliver a reasonably informative view of the film, they don’t make this an especially dynamic chat.

Two featurettes follow, and Building a Legacy runs eight minutes, 53 seconds. It provides remarks from Cretton, producer Jonathan Schwartz, stunt coordinator Mark Ginther, art director Jacinta Leong, production designer Sue Chan, visual effects supervisor Christopher Townsend, costume designer Kym Barrett, and actors Simu Liu, Fala Chen, Awkwafina, Michelle Yeoh, and Ben Kingsley.

“Legacy” looks at the source and its adaptation, cast and performances, the movie’s martial arts and stunts, sets and locations, various effects, and costumes. Despite its relative brevity, “Legacy” offers a nice overview of some production elements.

Family Ties goes for seven minutes, 28 seconds and involves Liu, Callaham, Schwartz, Awkwafina, Yeoh, producer Kevin Feige, and actor Tony Leong.

“Ties” covers the comics’ move to the screen as well as more about characters, cast and story. Some of this leans toward happy talk, but we get some good insights.

A Gag Reel spans two minutes, 10 seconds, and delivers the standard allotment of goofs and giggles. While nothing compelling appears, at least the compilation ends quickly.

Finally, 11 Deleted Scenes take up a total of 14 minutes, 23 seconds. These add a little more action as well as a few character beats, especially related to Katy and Trevor. Nothing substantial appears, but we get some entertainment value from the clips.

Based on an obscure comic, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings becomes an unexpected pleasure. One of the more satisfying Marvel Cinematic Universe efforts, the flick delivers a consistently strong mix of action, comedy and fantasy. The 4K UHD offers positive picture and audio along with a modest mix of bonus materials. Rings becomes a terrific comic book adventure.

To rate this film, visit the prior review of SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main