The pandemic is looking to put Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings in a tough spot, which is a real shame for the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s landmark 25th feature film release. The martial arts fantasy blockbuster is tracking for a franchise-low opening weekend, and it doesn’t have the benefit of a Disney Plus Premier Access cushion to generate additional income. Reviews need to be strong to ensure audiences will check it out.
Of course, the MCU as a brand is about as bulletproof as it gets in Hollywood, boasting a track record of critical and commercial success that’s made Kevin Feige’s outfit the biggest game in town. But the shared mythology has typically offered the quality to back up the quantity. The early reactions to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings were overwhelmingly positive, and the majority of reviews tend to be following suit.
In fact, most of the critics are praising Destin Daniel Cretton’s movie as one of the MCU’s finest origin stories, with particularly high marks being awarded to Simu Liu’s star-making lead performance and stellar support from Tony Leung. However, the third act is coming under fire for devolving into the typical formula for having CGI things smash into other CGI things in an orgy of destruction that shifts the focus away from the characters and onto the spectacle.
It’s very early days, but Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is currently sitting on a 93% Rotten Tomatoes score with over 50 reviews and counting in the bag. While that’s more than likely to dip between now and opening day on Sept. 3, it looks as though audiences are in for a real treat.