Marvel’s newest hero arrives in theaters on Sept. 3 and he is “magnetic,” critics say.Due out exclusively in theaters next Friday, Disney’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” centers on Shang-Chi, a valet at a ritzy hotel, who goes by Shaun, an Americanized version of his name. He is the son of Wenwu, a centuries-old conqueror, crime lord and wielder of the legendary 10 rings.

After the death of his mother, a teenage Shang-Chi left his ancestral home and remained estranged from his father for years. Now, as an adult, he is forced to confront his past and his father.With a 91% “Fresh” score on Rotten Tomatoes from 105 reviews, those who saw advanced screenings of Disney’s latest comic book flick call it a “pure crowd-pleaser. Full stop.”“At some point during one of the best car chase scenes in San Francisco movie history, ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ makes at least one thing gloriously clear: Today, you will be getting your money’s worth at the movies,” wrote Peter Hartlaub in his review of the film for the San Francisco Chronicle.Alongside the action-packed fight sequences and quippy one-liners, which have become staples in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Shang-Chi” explores the clash of East and West — traditional and modern — on a large, explosive scale.Critics largely praised the film’s cast, of which Tony Leung was a standout as the villainous, yet charming Wenwu. Simu Liu, the titular Shang-Chi, is “magnetic” during the action sequences and Awkwafina shines as his fast-talking, wisecracking best friend Katy.

Daniel Destin Cretton’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s return to Indian theatres, whirrs into top gear with an explosive set-piece early on aboard a San Francisco bus, when Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) and Katy (Awkwafina) are attacked by a group of assassins led by a man with a machete for an arm. The scene itself is equal parts Speed and Rumble in the Bronx: Jackie Chan-like improvisational combat (the film’s fight coordinator Andy Cheng has worked with Chan on several films), slapstick humour and, well, the high-stakes precariousness of an out-of-control bus.


Like Steve Rogers’s epic extended foot-chase from the first act of Captain America: The First Avenger, this extended action sequence had a lot riding on it. It was a question of showing audiences what the new superhero in town is capable of, as well as setting the visual grammar for the franchise, to an extent. In Steve Rogers’ case, we are immediately in awe of the man’s Olympian physicality and his sheer will to keep fighting, and these are indeed the twin pillars of his character from that point on, arguably till the very end.


Thankfully for Shang-Chi, Simu Liu (from the much-loved Canadian sitcom Kim’s Convenience, an asymmetric-thinking choice for the role) passes the test with more than a touch of flair. The setup might have been Chan (and like Chan, Liu is just really easy to like), but Liu also turns it up several notches as the scene progresses, lighting up the screen with the kind of balletic brutality you might associate with a Donnie Yen.


“Shang-Chi” will be the first Marvel film to get an exclusive release in cinemas since the Covid pandemic shut down the movie theater business in March 2020. Industry analysts are keen to see how the film performs during its opening weekend and if positive reviews and word of mouth will give it staying power at the box office.Here’s what critics thought of “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” ahead of its Sept. 3 debut in theaters:


Katie Rife, AV Club

Critics lauded “Shang-Chi” for its elaborate stunt and fight sequences, which borrow from classic martial arts movies.


“In some ways, ‘Shang-Chi’ is a mixtape of martial-arts movie genres: An early scene pays tribute to the balletic, graceful films of Zhang Yimou, while a dramatic bus chase later on apes the derring-do of an early Jackie Chan vehicle,” Katie Rife wrote in her review for AV Club.


Many have pointed to an early scene in the film of Shang-Chi fighting several enemies on a crowded bus as a prime example of these influences.


Still, Marvel seems to be pulling punches, Rife wrote.


″‘Shang-Chi’ insists on either interrupting or burying the stunt work — spearheaded by Chan protege Brad Allan, who tragically died earlier this month—with mountains of blatant CGI,” she said.