How do we find our purpose in life? How do we live up to our potential? Shang-Chi wrestles with his past, both the good and the bad, on a path to realizing how to forge a unique purpose for the good of others. His purpose is found in a bigger story.
The film begins with Shang-Chi and his best friend, Katy, working as valets. Friends and family comment on how the talent and potential of the two friends are wasted. When henchmen show up on the bus to steal a pendant from Shang-Chi, he and Katy are thrown into a bigger story where Katy learns more of her friend’s past and Shang-Chi must use the skills he learned as a child to protect who he loves and the memory of his mother.
Shang-Chi’s father, Wenwu, has these mystical ten rings that make him immortal and give him great power. Wenwu is the villain driving the story, trying to get his son and daughter, Xialing, to help him break open a Dark Gate, but he is deceived and must be stopped before the world is destroyed.
Shang-Chi is one of the better films in the MCU. While a minor character from the comics, the movie does an amazing job mixing a great story with Chinese and East Asian cultures, giving the movie more depth and color. The friendship between Shang-Chi and Katy is a strong theme through the heart the film, both actors operating between funny and serious in a very genuine way. The themes of friendship and redemption of family are universal and well done. By the end of the movie, Shang-Chi realizes his purpose within a community and the importance of doing good in a much larger story.
Action and violence are basic superhero fare, martial arts and mystical weapons. There is no sex or nudity and only a brief scene of drinking alcohol when the friends go out and sing karaoke. There are several instances of cussing, exclamations during dramatic and surprising moments.
The Dove Take
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a funny and extremely entertaining movie that reveals how people can discover their individual purpose through entering a grander story and the love of friends and family.