Ranking: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

I just checked and apparently I haven’t ranked a comic book movie since Dark Phoenix in July 2019. That doesn’t seem right, but I can’t think of what movie I would have seen. Lots of comics book TV shows, but I guess no movies. Well, time to break that streak.

Shang-Chi lives in San Francisco where he works with his best friend, Katy, parking cars at a downtown hotel and getting drunk every weekend at karaoke bars. After work one day, a gang of super-powered criminals attacks them on a bus, trying to grab a pendant Shang-Chi is wearing. To Katy’s surprise, Shang-Chi fights back using expert martial arts skills. Moreover, after the fight is over and the men have taken the pendant (though Shang-Chi saved the busload of people), he reveals to Katy that his father heads a criminal gang in China and he ran away as a teenager when his father assigned him to kill somebody. Now he feels he must go back to save his sister. Katy insists on accompanying him.

In Hong Kong, Shang-Chi finds himself tricked into fighting at a fight club hidden in an under-construction skyscraper. The fight club turns out to be owned by his sister, Xialing. The three are gradually sucked into a war against Shang-Chi’s and Xialing’s father, a supervillain named Xu Wenwu who draws his power from the ten magical rings he wears around his arms. This war will lead them to a mystical land called Ta Lo, where dragons live and everybody fights with magical martial arts. Shang-Chi’s father is trying to release an ancient evil being that has convinced him it is the only to free his deceased wife from a tormented afterlife and bring her back to life (a lie), and Shang-Chi, Xialing, and Katy have to stop him.

This was a really fun movie. As a comics fan, I noticed it combined the back stories of Shang-Chi, who in the comics is mostly a Bruce Lee street fighter-type, and Iron Fist, who does have a more mystical background. That’s a compromise that’s fine with me, and overall, I thought this movie was Pretty Good.

I have previously ranked Ant-Man and the Wasp, Aquaman, Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War, the Avengers movies, the Batman movies, Black Panther, Captain America: Civil War, Captain Marvel, Dark Phoenix, Dr. Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Logan, Man of Steel, the Man-Thing, the non-Marvel and non-DC comic movies, the other DC movies, the Spider-Man movies, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, the summer 2015 comic movies, the Superman movies, Thor: Ragnarok, Wonder Woman, and the X-Men movies.

Here’s the master list of all comics movies I’ve rated so far, ranked in order from best to worst.

As ever, my ranking system is
Green=excellent  Blue=Pretty Good  Black=Okay  Red=Avoid

American Splendor
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Iron Man
Heavy Metal (1981)
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Superman (1978)

Captain America
Wonder Woman (2017)
Batman Begins (2005)
Captain America: Civil War
Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier
Avengers: Endgame
Spider-Man (2002)
X-Men 2: X-Men United
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Superman II
Batman (1989)
Ant-Man and the Wasp
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Dr. Strange
The Dark Knight (2008)
Logan (2017)
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Iron Man 3

The Wolverine (2013)
Guardians of the Galaxy 2
Sin City (2005)

X-Men: First Class
X-Men (2000)
Captain Marvel
Black Panther
Man of Steel (2013)
Avengers: Infinity War
Avengers 2: Age of Ultron
Swamp Thing (1982)
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Iron Man 2
Watchmen (2009)
Batman Forever (1995)
Superman Returns (2006)
Thor 2: The Dark World
Dark Phoenix
Incredible Hulk (2008)
Mystery Men (1999)
Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Man-Thing (2005)
Superman III
Supergirl (1984)
X-Men 3: Last Stand
Hulk (2003)
Fritz the Cat (1972)
Batman and Robin (1997)
Batman Returns (1992)
Superman IV

Amazing Spider-Man (2012) (Haven’t seen)
Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) (Haven’t seen)
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) (Haven’t seen)
Batman (1966) (Haven’t seen)
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (Haven’t seen)
Catwoman (Haven’t seen)
Constantine (Haven’t seen)
Deadpool (Haven’t seen)
Green Lantern (Haven’t seen)
Hellboy (Haven’t seen)
Judge Dredd (Haven’t seen)
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014) (Haven’t seen)
V for Vendetta (Haven’t seen)
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Haven’t seen)

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