I didn’t know what to expect with Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Unlike many critics, I don’t watch movie trailers dozens of times to analyze details and predict what happens. Nothing against those that do, it’s just not my style. I watched maybe one trailer in its entirety and decided to go in like I like it: Blind. There’s a lot to unpack here and I think it’s important you know that while I’m an MCU fan, it’s not where my movie expertise lies. I’m more of an animated musicals kind of gal. But now that my kids are getting older and enjoying films geared for a slightly older audience, I’m aging up some of my reviews too.
So knowing that, and that you may be in a similar boat wondering if Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is too scary for kids. I’ll dive into that as well in this spoiler-free review.
First of all, Disney is really throwing us for a loop with a theatrical-only release. Do you wait or do you go? I think that’s going to depend on your comfort level as well as what theaters look like near you. But if it’s a matter of if it’s worth it, I think you’ll find it is. And where Black Widow didn’t really include any exciting spoilers or connections to future films, there are a few in this film that will make you want to stay off the internet, or see it ASAP. And Speaking of Black Widow. You may remember I wasn’t a big fan, and my oldest daughter hated it. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (gonna shorten this name from here on out) has a lot of elements I think she’ll enjoy.
Shang Chi is Not Your Average Marvel Movie
Shang-Chi is an action story that has a brilliant blend of mystical otherworldly scenes and down to earth characters who make the viewer feel like ‘hey, who knows, someday could happen to me!’ Aside from that, the cinematography and special effects made me gasp more than once. And the story warmed my heart in a way that few Marvel movies do.
The story makes you think about the pieces that make you who you are and the things that shape you. Family plays an integral part in the story but not in the way you might expect.
From the characters and cast, to the soundtrack and storyline, there’s a lot to love and I am excited to see it again and bring my kids and get their take.
Diversity and Inclusion
I imagine that this movie and what it represents will bring a swell of pride and special butterflies, similarly to how Black Panther felt for me. I loved the range of characters. From the Asian characters to the Asian-American characters in the states. A note for those with learning differences: There are a healthy use of subtitles, especially in the beginning. So parents may want to be ready to help paraphrase or read some lines across the screen. The story was pretty obvious though, so even without reading, viewers should be able to follow.
Though Shang-Chi is the main event, there are several strong female characters who not only help the story along, but play a very big role throughout the film. And I appreciated the diverse roles each of the women played. All of them having their own dynamic and unique personalities. Shang-Chi’s (Sim Liu) friend Katy (Awkwafina) feels relatable, and isn’t just there for comedic relief, which I loved.
Is Shang-Chi Scary for Kids?
There are some parts of Shang-Chi that might be scary for kids. A guy with a sword for an arm. Some dark and scary creatures, and of course a lot of fighting and action. If your kids are no stranger to Marvel these things might not be anything at all. Black Widow had issues that bothered my oldest (child abductions, and too many explosions). But Shang-Chi has a healthy dose of hand to hand combat and monster fighting.
In a dark, loud theater this may be much for younger viewers, and you might prefer to wait until you can watch from the comfort of your homes. For kids like my 8-year-old son who love all of the action and battles, it’ll be a treat to see on the big screen. And like I mentioned earlier, the special effects and mystical feel of some of the scenes gives something extra special for the younger audience as well as adults.
Bottom Line: It’s Worth Seeing
I can tell how excited I am about a new movie based on how excited I am to see it again. Jungle Cruise and Black Widow missed the mark for me, but Shang-Chi won my heart. I’ll be getting tickets to take my kids to a weekday matinee (perks of homeschool). Or renting it on Premiere Access if/when available.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings hits theaters this Friday September 3rd.
Are you planning to see it? Let us know what you think!
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