You may have noticed how my “Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings” review praised a lot of the fight choreography that lets the action sequences breathe with one-shot takes. But the truth is that no words, from any review, can even begin to describe its awesomeness. As such, since it is a visual movie, it is best to see the action when it’s in motion. And Disney has released a new featurette that takes a look at the fight choreography and stunt work.
Simu Liu, who plays the title character, says “Shang-Chi” at its core is a Marvel movie. And you can see how that plays out in not only the trailers hinting at the criminal Ten Rings organization but also mentions of certain events and major cameos like Benedict Wong reprising his role as Wong from “Doctor Strange.” He added that it comes with a promise of action, and a certain promise to the quality of the sequences they are about to deliver.
And in an effort to get people to see it on the big screen, Marvel Studios’ president Kevin Feige says “this film will take your breath away on the big screen. And it is as big as anything that we’ve ever brought to life in the MCU.”
That effort to deliver clearly shows in a lot of the fight sequences. Not just the Wuxia-inspired one in the opening of the film, but the intense one-shot take of the bus scene in San Francisco. “With the bus sequence, everything had to be perfect,” fight coordinator Andy Cheng said. Shots of storyboards spread across the wall can be seen to map out the direction and how it would be executed.
“That was something I’ve never done before,” director Destin Daniel Cretton said. “Taking a bus down San Francisco hills and crashing into real cars.” Considering his character-driven dramas that are grounded in reality, yeah, the idea of fights choreography and stunt work is new to the director. That being said. He nails it.
Awkwafina adds they worked with world-class stunt teams and that their work ethic was incredible to witness.
Meanwhile, the featurette then switched to Fala Chen, who plays Jiang Li, who describes her experience working with the world champion of tai chi as amazing. And even Tony Leung says he took two weeks to learn about the fight sequences, which he describes as a symbol of aggressiveness and anger of the character.
When the featurette turns back to Liu, he talks about how the film incorporates a lot of different styles of martial arts from the fluid Tai Chi to the very combative Wing Chun.
And as much as people want to make comparisons to how the film will do for Asians what Black Panther did for Black people, Michelle Yeoh wants to remind us that the film should be able to stand on its own. To which I agree. “It’s got a very magical story behind it, mixed with action,” she said.
Luckily the sequences don’t get too spoilerly as it only teases what has been revealed in the trailers.
Here’s the official plot synopsis for “Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings.”
Marvel Studios’ “Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings” stars Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, who must confront the past he thought he left behind when he is drawn into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organization.
“Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings” opens in theaters on September 3, 2021.