The following contains spoilers for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
Back in the Before Times, when normal was a word that had meaning, movies would be released in theaters and people would go see them. And there was no weekend quite as special as the ones when a new entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe would arrive. While we've seen several new entries in the MCU in recent months, what we have not seen is a film released exclusively in theaters the way it used to be done. Now Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has brought back what used to be normal, but there's very little normal about the movie beyond that.
If Shang-Chi was just another good movie, just another entertaining entry in the MCU, that would be one thing, but that's not what people are saying about it. Shang-Chi isn't simply another good movie according to many who have seen it. It's actually one of the best films we've seen from Marvel Studios in the decade+ it's been making movies.
Shang-Chi Is A New MCU Favorite
While Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is the MCU's first straight theatrical release since 2019, it's hardly the first MCU entry in the last several months, so it's not the simple fact that fans have new Marvel content in their lives that has them calling Shang-Chi something special. Many are calling it one of Marvel's best films.
A lot of fans are easily labeling Shang-Chi as one of their top five Marvel movies, and considering we've now had 25 entries in the franchise, that's saying something. Most people probably have one or both of the most recent Avengers films in their top five list; movies that have a host of characters and massive storyline implications. Shang-Chi is a much smaller movie in nearly every conceivable way, but it's just as good as the rest, and better than most.
While we don't know what the future holds for Shang-Chi as a character or as a franchise, based on this response, it seems quite likely we'll be seeing him again. Between the box office success and the outpouring of support, if there weren't already plans for more Shang-Chi movies, there may be now.
But while a lot of people are loving Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, there is one thing, or more specifically one person, that people online seem to be especially in love with.
The Internet Is In Love With Tony Leung
It seems there are two sorts of people on Twitter right now: those who just discovered thanks to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings that Tony Leung is beautiful and amazing, and those who were already familiar with his career and work in Hong Kong, and already knew that he was beautiful and amazing. No matter which camp you were in, it seems everybody is now on the same page, and now people just can't get enough of Tony Leung.
Tony Leung plays Xu Wenwu in Shang-Chi, who is the main character's father and also the main antagonist of the film. While he's technically the "bad guy," he's possibly one of the most relatable and understandable villains in Marvel Cinematic Universe history. He starts out bad, but is eventually able to reform, at least somewhat. One wonders if Tony Leung was cast in the role because they wanted people to like him more than your average villain, or if the character was made less purely evil because they knew nobody was going to be able to hate Tony Leung.
Whatever the thought process, there's little argument that Tony Leung is a great actor, as well as a great action performer, which makes him perfect in the role. While Marvel is often criticized for its less than memorable villains, it seems clear right now that this will not be a problem that Shang-Chi has. The movie may actually have one of the best villains ever.
But if you thought Tony Leung was the only pretty thing in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, think again.
Shang-Chi Looks And Sounds Amazing
Shang-Chi doesn't just cast beautiful people; it's beautiful in most other ways as well, according to fans. Being Marvel's first movie to focus on martial arts action, the fight sequences were certainly something we had not seen before in the MCU, and most fans agree that the action was top-notch. The scenes were well choreographed, adding a beauty even to scenes of people fighting each other.
On top of that, a lot of praise is being given to the soundtrack for Shang-Chi. While Marvel movies have had some great music, (can any of us hear the Avengers theme without getting chills?) Shang-Chi is also able to stand on its own by having unique music, and a lot of fans are apparently breaking out the Spotify playlist to listen to it again and again.
And then there are the simple visuals on the screen. Through a combination of CGI and on-location filming in Australia, Shang-Chi is just visually pleasing to look at. While many may not be quite ready to venture out to movie theaters quite yet, this movie is clearly an argument in favor of them continuing to exist because everything just looks that much more impressive on a massive screen.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe may have had a significant delay, but it clearly hasn't lost a step. With a lot of Phase 4 set to introduce us to new characters like the Eternals, Blade and Ms. Marvel, it's a good sign that this new character has been so warmly embraced by fans. This is clearly only the beginning of Shang-Chi as a character, and this new corner of the MCU is off to an amazing start.