Wondering if Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings is ok for kids? Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings is rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, as well as language, so this comic book movie may not be suitable for younger kids. Here’s what parents need to know in this Shang-Chi Parents Guide.
Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings Parents Guide
Shang-Chi (played brilliantly by Simu Liu) is just a normal guy in his mid-twenties struggling to walk the line between growing up and accepting more responsibilities. All he wants to do is hang out with his best friend Katy (played by Awkwafina) and show up at his perfectly fine low paying job as a valet by day and hanging out having fun all night.
Shang-Chi must confront the past he thought he left behind when he is drawn into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organization.
Why is Shang-Chi Rated PG-13? For language, violence, and action sequences.
The language is mild and sparse, but it is there. The words a**hole, a**, hell, bullsh*t, sh*t, damn, middle fingers, holy sh*t, and bi*ch are said as well as words of Deity and one g-ddammit.
As far as mature themes go, I would say that you are probably good to go for most ages. There is very little by way of romance. The love story they focus on is a completely romantic love that does not put anyone in an uncomfortable situation in the theater.
This movie is full of fighting but most of it is for action purposes and Shang-Chi acts mostly in defense of himself and others. There is a revenge element to the film that is motivated by violence though. This element may be tougher for younger audiences to understand.
In one scene there is also some bloodsport type fighting for money which is another concept that younger kids may have trouble with. Another element to warn about is excessive death. A lot of people die, and for most you don’t see their deaths. There are a few dead bodies and some are central characters that may evoke strong feelings in younger children.
One area in which Marvel may not have considered their influence on a younger audience is in the use of alcohol. There are two scenes to take place in a bar that are intended to be what “normal“ adults do with their time off from work and then there are two other scenes where drunkenly singing karaoke while sloppy drunk is portrayed to be what “fun“ adults do. While happy hour and nights out are common for 20-year-olds, it is something to consider as a parent when deciding if this movie is right for your kids.
Is Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings Appropriate for Kids Under 13?
As a parent, I typically find that most Marvel films do contain elements that I do not find particularly appropriate for my children on the big screen. We have watched some of them together at home in a safe and guided setting, but that is because we know our children.
Is Shang-Chi too scary for kids? The one thing I would caution all parents to consider when going to see this movie in theaters on a big screen is the final “monster” at the end of the film.
I am probably not alone in saying that this is one of the most graphic characters I have seen come out of the MCU. It is bloody and gory (in my opinion). It is supposed to be terrifying, and it is. Being on the big screen in surround sound amplifies that and while it does work for the movie, it is intense even for an adult audience member.
The obvious star of the movie is Simu Liu as the title character stepping into a role he seems to effortlessly embody. You never stop for a second and think of him as that guy from Kim’s Convenience. He lobbied for this role on Twitter in 2018 and I for one am thankful Marvel listened.
Awkwafina (Nora Lum) as Katy is a grounding influence to Shawn (Shang Chi’s Americanized name he gave himself when hiding) even though they enable each other to choose fun over anything else.
Tony Leung as Shang Chi’s father and the leader of the army of The Ten Rings is the sympathetic antihero/villain. This level of performance is what makes Marvel stand out above the rest in terms of storytelling and depth. He brings complexity to the role that will set up Phase Four of the MCU to rise to the next level it is setting up to deliver.
Another amazing surprise for me was the layered performance delivered by Meng’er Zhang as Shang-Chi’s sister Xialing. She tells you everything you need to know about her character when she says, “If my dad won’t let me into his empire, I will build my own”. She does not disappoint. I hope we see more from her in the future because she was a treat to watch (don’t get me started on her amazing weapon!).
Visually this movie was beyond stunning. Destin Daniel Cretton (Just Mercy, The Glass Castle) certainly understands how to blend action and movement with camera position and make it look seamless and almost easy. That effortlessness showed itself beautifully during fight scenes (looking at you absolutely terrifying skyscraper fight). The camera moved around so effortlessly that you felt like a fly on the wall buzzing around only seeing the moments the director wanted you to see.
Stay in your seats and watch the credits all the way through. There are two scenes and both are fairly important as to the set up of Phase Four. You won’t want to miss them.
Overall it is a perfect ride for the right audience and Marvel and non-MCU fans will have no trouble jumping right back into the world that has been so carefully created in this film.
“Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings” is in theaters now.
This review was provided by Angie White:
Angie White has worked for over 25 years in the film industry doing everything from acting & coaching, to marketing, filmmaking to film festivals. Since becoming a mom in 2009 she has moved into the online space as a blogger and content creator on her own site and guest posting on many others. You can find her online at @MyFanGuide or at www.MyFanGuide.com.