“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” has all the right ingredients of a well-done superhero film while being more comedic and profitable than many of its Marvel predecessors.

Two men fighting, one with orange light powers and the other with blue light powers. A larger version of the main character behind him and another larger picture featuring all the other characters in a transparent less focused image.

The official movie poster for “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”.

The film broke records in the box office for Labor Day weekend, grossing $93 million. Overall, the film has achieved the highest grossing box office amount for the year at $196 million from its release on Sept. 3 until Sept. 27, shooting past Black Widow’s record of $183 million so far. This is significant as “Shang-Chi” was initially only released in the movie theatres, unlike many films during the pandemic that were also released on streaming platforms like  “Black Widow” and “In the Heights”. 

The movie starts out with a backstory detailing the legendary origin of the ten rings, along with subtitles to complement Mandarin Chinese dialogue. Right away, the movie seems like it’s going to be a thriller with a unique story—until the backstory finishes in modern day San Francisco. 

The story became complex, shifting from over a thousand years in the past in a fantasy setting to a realistic modern-day scene. The bearer of the ten rings is Xu Wenwu, Shang-Chi’s father played by Tony Leung Chiu-wai. He was immortal because of the godlike power he held with the rings.

Shang-Chi met his mother in a city filled with beautiful and powerful creatures, filled with people skilled in combat. The place is hidden from the world, and is very hard to get to as it is situated in another universe. The people of the city also guard humans from evil spirits, keeping them behind a sealed gate. They train constantly in case they may have to fight to protect the world from them.

Shang-Chi, who goes by Shawn since running away to San Francisco, is portrayed by Simu Liu. He uses the kung fu that he was trained with since he was seven years old to defeat those who are coming to steal a pendant given to him by his deceased mother.

Liu stars alongside Awkwafina, who plays the role of Katy, his best friend and coworker. Although the two friends both graduated from high school and Katy graduated from Berkeley, they continue to work as valets and continuously avoid the responsibility of growing up. Other characters in the show hint at the fact that they have not seemed to step into adulthood yet. However, they aren’t concerned about this because in their minds, they just want to have a good time—a common thing for people at their age.

When Katy sees Shang-Chi fight in combat to keep his pendant from his enemies, she is shocked to see his kung fu prowess. She also finds out that he has disguised his identity for many years. 

Still, even after this crazy information is spilled, Katy goes with him on his journey to find his sister. Shang-Chi assumes that the people who took his pendant would soon be after his sister’s pendant, too. Along the way he fights many enemies and discovers a lot about a world he only had heard in stories about from his deceased mother.

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings” deserves the title of biggest movie of the year.

Disney Plus subscribers have a lot to look forward to when this picture gets released for streaming on Nov. 12, allowing audience members to grip the edge of their seats with anxiety and laugh with excitement.

Madison Wanco can be reached at jaedynyoung@sagebrush.unr.edu or on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.