Marvel has finally, finally released the first look at its upcoming martial arts epic Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings—and if you were hoping for some stellar kicking and punching action, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. But it’s the family drama that really makes the movie look so compelling.
We knew that Shang-Chi, played by Kim’s Convenience star Simu Liu, would be the son of the villain the Mandarin, but not much more than that. Here, he’s clearly living a very low-key life in America with his friend Katy, played by Awkwafina. That is, until his father, played by Hong Kong mega-star Tony Leung, pulls him back to the fold—or at least attempts to do so.
There’s obviously a real Luke Skywalker/Darth Vader vibe here, as Wenwu—the Mandarin’s real name, as revealed by Entertainment Weekly—asks Shang-Chi to effectively rule the galaxy by his side. But Leung, who starred in Hard-Boiled and several Wong Kar-wai films including In the Mood for Love, is such an effortlessly good actor that he elevates the bad dad into someone more compelling even through a few mere lines of narration. You can tell he really cares for his son, regardless of his evil kung fu army and global crime organization.
Also, Awkwafina is amazing, but that shouldn’t be news to anybody at this point. Here’s a better look at Shang-Chi’s costume, by the way:
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings premieres on September 3, 2021.
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