Fitting Razor Fist into the ‘Shang-Chi’ bus fight was a production nightmare

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Before Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings‘ release, expectations were being dialed back. Black Widow was something of a disappointment, the trailers were fine but not eye-popping, and there was a growing sense of superhero fatigue. But Destin Daniel Cretton and Simu Liu’s mystical martial arts caper ended up being a top-tier adventure, which most audiences realized the moment the incredible bus-based action sequence began.

This was the first time we saw what Shang-Chi can do in a fight, and he doesn’t disappoint. Within the tight confines of an out-of-control San Francisco bus, he acrobatically takes down a series of attackers and squares off against the intimidating Razor Fist. This new MCU heavyweight is played by man-mountain Florian Munteanu, who previously impressed as Viktor Drago in Creed II.

But it turns out that cramming Munteanu into a bus and having him fight with a blade for a hand wasn’t easy. Shang-Chi‘s fight choreographer Andy Cheng recently gave an interview to where he laid it all out:

Florian as Razor Fist, he’s a boxer, but we need to train him using the weapon and the weapon’s not actually in his hand. So he had to imagine the blade, how long the blade is. We had to make the green slate so he knew the distance, so Shang-Chi, Simu, wouldn’t get cut. So we need to make sure of those things to make everyone very fit, we had a lot of training.”

It seems the biggest challenge was having him fit into the set at all, not to mention working with Munteanu’s existing fight training:

“For Florian, it’s a little difficult because he’s more like boxing, and then now he’s fighting with the weapon. And then he had to learn, with the other hand, how to move, so he had to adapt to it. And then also because the bus is very narrow with all the hand-pulls and then with the passengers, and then just standing there his head’s already touching the ceiling.

He’s a gigantic guy, so you imagine the big guy into a little box, so he’s had to do all the moves. For him, it’s challenging, so we had a lot of rehearsal with him. We had to bring him into the bus and start, ‘Okay, you swing this.’ ‘Oh, I hit my hand here.’ He had to learn all the moves in a specific room. So, for him, it was a little difficult.”

Razor Fist repeatedly proved his worth in battle and by the final sequences was fighting alongside our heroes. We last saw him standing next to Xu Xialing as she took over Leadership of the Ten Rings, with him apparently overseeing the training of the next generation of Ten Rings warriors.

Not bad for a character that could easily have been a one-and-done henchman. Let’s hope we see more of Razor Fist soon. Before that, Munteanu will be appearing in video game adaptation Borderlands, where he’s been cast as Krieg.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is available to stream on Disney Plus.