Shang-Chi (3D) (4DX)
Great comedy, action, cinematography, characters, and story. Shang-chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has quite the recipe that audiences are sure to enjoy. Which are made better through 3D and 4DX. The story and action in particular are the film’s greatest strengths, as we follow Sim Liu’s performance in providing a unique take on a protagonist. Meanwhile, Awkwafina provides reliable comic relief in Katy, his best friend.
But what is it that makes this film so compelling? And are the 3D and 4DX features worth the additional cost to filmgoers? Well, let’s jump in.
The best aspect of Shang-Chi is by far the story. Providing a compelling take on what may be the most relatable villain in some time. Shang’s father Xu Wenwu is formidable, carrying over 1,000 years of combat experience. If that wasn’t enough, he also has the 10 Rings. Which yield great power and grant extra strength and abilities to whomever wears them.
When you begin to think he’s completely unstoppable, he meets a mysterious woman in a hidden village that is strong and fights in a fluid manner. And through their duel, he finds something new in himself that a thousand years had never given him. An admiration and respect for others, along with a newfound passion for having a family. Calming the beast he once was, he easily puts the 10 Rings away.
Unfortunately, history has a way of finding us and Wenwu is not exception. When his past catches up with him, the results destroy him. And what was a peaceful man has returned with a hardened killer with a vengeance. As the lost of his love continues to take a toll that he cannot shake. Outside of his weapons of power, his son and daughter are all he has left.
Shang-Chi on the other hand is a much kinder soul, like his mother Li. His history is initially shrouded in mystery, as we slowly delve deeper into his past as the film progresses. From his training, to his younger sister, to where his mother came from, we are ushered into a story of family, hardship, and fear. Once he escapes his father, he makes an effort to live a peaceful live until his past also catches up with him. And a battle begins against his father to stop him from re-entering the village from where he met his mother.
I could delve deeper into the story here, but wish to avoid major spoilers. As the finale contains a pleasant surprise. I will say that Wenwu’s reasoning for chasing power is relatable to anyone who has ever loved and lost someone. As the strength it takes to overcome such an event can be unbearable. Driving the story forward in a highly effective manner.
No great story can exist without fun characters to explore. Shang-Chi as a film does a great job of presenting us with a variety of character, backstories, and individuals with unique goals.
First off, you have Shang-Chi and his best friend Katy. Their relationship exudes a long history, and you can’t help but be entertained when the two share the scene. Their playful banter is believable and their onscreen comedy fun to observe. The actors performances also do a great job at establishing their characters for the remainder of the film. Providing a great contrast against Shang-Chi’s parents, Xu Wenwu (the villain) and Li.
Then you have Shang’s parents Wenwu and Li. Wenwu as you’ve already noticed is a stern and serious person. Whereas Li is a kind, generous, and peaceful individual. Yet is willing to place herself in harms way to protect anything she cares about. Their relationship as a couple is distinct even amongst cinema. As you rarely ever see a budding love interest come from a literal duel. Seeing Li have the upper hand against Wenwu makes it interesting in that she wins the fight and his heart.
Wenwu’s henchmen Razor Fist and Death Dealer (a silent killer) provide fun villains for us. From their fight scenes, to their interactions with the main characters, they never cease to be interesting nor serve a purpose to the greater story. Not to mention, each time they enter the scene the cinematography elevates to a higher level. With highly stylized shots reminiscent of a comic book.
Speaking of comic book shots, the martial arts are well executed and highly cinematic. With the only a few issues found during certain large scale CG battle fests. When you combine the action onscreen along with 3D and 4DX, Shang Chi is a lot of fun.
The bus scene in particular is a highlight for me. With fun fight choreography and cinematic camera movements, this scene is the epitome of the overall film. Even during the fight, there’s a hilarious exploration of social media in a bus patron who broadcasts the fight.
Towards the end of the film, the CG battlefest takes place. Which is large in scale, taking place by land, air, and see. The hand to hand combat is minimal here, which is unfortunate. As the martial arts found previous to this scene escalates your hope to see more of it. But what happens here serves the story very well, and drives the plot home very well.
3D & 4DX Features
Marvel is offering Shang-Chi to limited theatres in 3D and 4DX. Having seen the film both in 2D and 3D, I have some difficulties getting behind the 3D. As certain elements don’t pop out of the screen just right, creating some eye strain. But it’s still great to experience Shang-Chi in 3D with 4DX. Even if it’s a bit of a sensory overload!
4DX on the other hand is incredibly fun. From the bus fight, to the car chases, the skyscraper battle, and water combat scenes, they are enhanced even further by the 4DX experience. As water sprays when characters touch water, wind blows across your face as the onscreen action speeds through the street, among many other great moments. This film easily has the most movement of any film I’ve seen in 4DX. My friend was unprepared for the chair motions, which tossed us around more than even I anticipated. Leaving him some pain in his butt. I was perfectly fine though. But felt this was worth pointing out for those considering a 4DX purchase.
If you’re interested in a 4DX viewing, Regal makes it easy to find a 4DX Theatre near you. You can also go on Fandango to find other participating theatres in your area. Please note these runs are limited, so book your tickets soon if interested!
Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings is a great film experience for those seeking to scratch that action-comedy itch. With a compelling story in tow, I can easily recommend watching this film in standard and 4DX. The characters are rich and believable, giving us us a relatable narrative that anyone can easily jump into. What may seem like another action adventure provides an interesting story on friendships, bonds, and sacrifice. These themes are well executed and give you plenty to walk away with long after the film is over.
Would you like to know more?
- Check out our other Action, Comedy, 3D, 4DX, and ScreenX reviews!
- If you’d like to Support Us, please consider making purchasing through one of affiliates. Treat yourself, buy someone a gift and you can still support us.
- Want to know what others think about Bound?
- Live in the area of San Diego, California? Looking for other great movie options at San Diego’s libraries? Start here!