Marvel’s next film has a new trailer! Shang-Chi is the highly anticipated martial arts film Disney and Marvel have on deck for September, and it looks great. It looks like a martial arts film from Marvel and not a Marvel martial arts film (so far), if that makes sense.
Fair warning, though, this trailer looks like it gives away a significant portion of the plot, so if you like to go into these things blind, this is your cue not to read.
In case you haven’t actually watched it, here is the trailer. Second warning: I feel like this trailer gives away a lot.
So let’s take a look:
This is slightly out of order but here’s the best look I could get at the Ten Rings flag. I am sure that someone more knowledgeable than I will be able to tell you what all the symbols mean.
Here’s a good look at half of the titular ten rings. Iron Rings like this are used in martial arts training for strength training and other purposes. I’ve never seen them used as a thrown weapon, but what do I know?
Here’s another look at them being wielded from horseback. Notice that they are crackling with energy. My question is whether these ten rings will be alien tech (a la some incarnations of the comics) or magical in nature (a la some other incarnations of the comics)?
Tony Leung Chiu-wai is playing The Mandarin in this film. More on him to come, but here he is tossing the rings at a gate and cracking it like an egg. Also of note, this clearly doesn’t look like modern times to me so how old is The Mandarin meant to be in this incarnation?
You might not immediately recognize him, but this man is a legend. If you haven’t seen them, please make sure to seek out Chunking Express (1994), In The Mood for Love (2000), and Hero (2002). Hell, just go look him up on IMDB and watch all his stuff. He’s great.
The Mandarin is Shang-Chi’s father. In the first two frames, he’s explaining that Shang-Chi will need to be strong to wield the rings, with a match cut to Simu Liu as the adult Shang-Chi. It’s a big deal to finally have an Asian lead in a Marvel film, and it’s great that a Canadian actor got the part too.
Not much to say here, but the gold Marvel Studios logo framed by the rings looks lovely.
Here’s living legend Michelle Yeoh, whose role isn’t 100% clear just yet, but she appears to be Shang-Chi’s mother or at least a mother figure.
Yeoh also cameoed as Aleta Ogord in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, but who is complaining that she has two roles in this franchise?? No one, that’s who.
A young Shang-Chi being taught techniques by presumably by his mother, or a younger version of Michelle Yeoh. Or both!
A young Shang-Chi training to take a hit. Seems when you’re the son of the leader of a secret cult of ninjas, training is taken seriously.
Shang-Chi takes on Death Dealer both as a child and as an adult. In the comics they’re arch enemies, so look forward to them fighting each other at least a few times.
So there’s a big fight scene on scaffolding on the outside of a high-rise and I could not get a single non-blurry frame out of it, so please take my word that it looks good.
Father and son, reunited. While there’s a lot of hints as to what this movie is going to be about, it really does feel like a father and son at odds type movie, and a son who tries to outrun his birthright by defying his father, and then claims it by finally challenging his father. Will that diminish the movie? That depends on how well it’s executed. I hope they have a few more surprises up their sleeves though, as Marvel often does.
Another look at the ten rings. I do so love all the detail in them, and I wonder how much CGI is involved when they’re stationary like this.
This shot is clearly from the early part of the film where Shang-Chi is hiding from his destiny, and is best friends with Awkwafina (who is always a win at this point).
The first capture here is Chiu-Wai, and the second is Liu and company. I wonder if it’s the same scene or a clever edit, but either way I’m curious if it’s the slowing of time or something more mystical.
Another shot of Chiu-wai wielding the ten rings, this time against a female opponent. I’m not 100% on who the opponent is, but the shot of the rings in action is cool.
This is Romanian boxer Florian Munteanu, who previously played Victor Drago in Creed II, playing Razorfist. Yes, a man with steel blades for hands whose name is Razorfist. Comics are weird and silly and I love it.
This is an interesting shot. It’s hard to make out, but that is Shang-Chi in the water facing a giant, white dragon. Merchandise and marketing materials say that this dragon is called The Great Protector, but I am unaware of a dragon by that name in Marvel comics. I’m sure that speculation is already rampant that this is actually famous Marvel dragon Fin Fang Foom.
This seems plausible to me, as in the comics Fin Fang Foom is actually an alien called a Makluan, so perhaps it is him that brought the rings to Earth?
Heads up, the next few images probably give away a lot.
Shang-Chi waling toward, presumably, his father and yelling “Is this what you want?”
This appears to be Shang-Chi facing off against his father and grabbing the Ten Rings in the process. I’d be willing to bet that he was previously not able to do that and that his journey of self-actualization will be what lets him do it now. This is all speculation on my part, but, like, I watch a lot of movies, and that falls pretty well in line with the Marvel formula.
Father and son, face to face with the ten rings between them. Say what you will, I think this looks amazing and I am hyped.
The title / logo looks great, too.
Here’s a deep cut, or maybe a moderate cut for you. In these frames appears to be Abomination, unseen since The Incredible Hulk in 2008. It’s over in a flash, but he appears to be fighting a wizard from Kamar-Taj. More to the point, that appears to be Benedict Wong as Wong from Doctor Strange.
Now, in this quick scene Wong gets slammed across the cage, but I don’t think they’d let him die in a movie that isn’t in his own franchise.
“You got this.” “Thank you.” Look at the smirk on his face. I really hope that this movie has a sense of humour.
So that’s the new trailer for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. I think it looks great, and while there are definitely Marvel touches here and there, my favourite thing at the moment is that it looks like director Destin Daniel Cretton has straight-up made a martial arts movie first. I’ve never been upset or annoyed by “that marvel feeling”, but I do prefer the films that have their own personality and point of view first, and this looks like it might be one of those.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will be released in theatres on September 3rd. According to Disney’s marketing, it will have an exclusive 45-day theatrical release window.
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