Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: Essential Wuxia Review
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has been heralded as a Hollywood Wuxia movie, so it should come as no surprise that it’s at the top of the charts on our Essential Wuxia. I gave it a Gold Ranking of 15 out of 15, here's why:
Is Shang-Chi a Wuxia Hero? I gave this section a 8 out of 8. Shang-Chi goes out of his way to protect the other passengers on the bus, even though it ends up with him losing his mother’s keepsake. To me, this was a clear example of an altruistic hero. His kindness and generosity were also exhibited early in his interactions with Katy’s grandmother.
Shang-Chi’s individualism is clear in the way he tries to break free of the path his father had planned for him. This also clearly demonstrates his dedication to justice. When Shang-Chi realizes his father is completely in the wrong, he takes a stand and fights his father head-on in the climatic battle of the movie.
Loyalty was a difficult one. Abandoning his sister as a child was a pretty significant hurdle for the two of them to overcome, but over the course of the movie it felt like the two reconciled for the sake of their mother, and her teachings. To do so, they both head into real danger, which took a lot of courage
Similarly, Katy and Shang-Chi don’t hesitate to tell the truth about what happened. And let’s be honest brag session at the end of the movie was pretty amazing; it definitely left the audience on a high note, and easily checks the Honor and Fame box
Is the movie Essential Wuxia? I gave this section a 7 out of 7. Shang-Chi, Katy, and Xialing prove that with training and determination, anyone can be a hero.
All three of them struggle with complex feelings about their parents, and balk from what society expects of them; each of them resolve these inner struggles in different ways throughout the course of the movie, eventually finding peace with who they are and finding their own path through the world.
As they travel through the hidden worlds of the Ten Rings society and the Ta Lo, we can easily check off all the essential settings for a Wuxia movie. When Shang-Chi meets Ying Nan (his aunt), she picks up his training where his mother had left off, helping him find a different way of fighting besides what his father had beaten into him.
There are some fantastic weapons and armor that the heroes pick up in Ta Lo, not to mention the giant soul-sucking demon trying to kill everyone, so I feel pretty safe checking off the weapons category and life-energy/sorcery box too!
Essential Wuxia Score: 15/15!
Let us know what you thought of Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings in the comments below!