As the Marvel Cinematic Universe has ventured into Phase 4 of its ever-expanding superhero saga, it’s been an up and down ride throughout 2021. There have been highs, lows and plenty of in-betweens, but the peak of the new era of the MCU so far is most certainly “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.”
Marking the first exclusive return to the theater for the franchise since the pandemic began, “Shang-Chi” earned rave reviews from critics and fans alike while setting the highest domestic box office mark of any film this year.
Now, the year’s biggest film is heading home on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital, following its release to Disney+ during last week’s Disney+ Day.
The film stars Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, the rebellious son of a warlord who must face the past he thought he left behind and confront his father, leader of the dangerous Ten Rings organization.
Part of what made “Shang-Chi” so appealing is its freshness and originality. In order to start a new phase in a post-“Endgame” MCU, things need to feel, well, new. The projects preceding “Shang-Chi” all focused on preexisting characters, whereas this was the first to tackle something truly new. As a result, it harkened back to the origin stories of films past, introducing a new character, world and set of powers to discover, while also livening up the traditional “origin” blueprint. This comes as a relief, freeing “Shang-Chi” from the baggage of its predecessors, as there’s really no required knowledge necessary on the front end as it relates to other MCU films.
With a predominantly Asian cast leading the way, “Shang-Chi” shows heavy inspiration from traditional Chinese fiction, as much of the combat revolves around artful, Wuxia choreography blended with modern hand-to-hand combat. Another way “Shang-Chi” sets itself apart is through its emphasis on familial conflict rather than world-ending catastrophe. There’s still plenty of the latter, but what audiences will truly care about are the relationships between Shang-Chi and his father, Wenwu (Tony Leung), and sister, Xialing (Meng’er Zhang).
The home release dives into these conflicts through a seven-minute featurette titled “Family Ties,” which sees Liu and Leung explore the relationship between their characters, both in the original comics and in the film. Director Destin Daniel Cretton sheds light on how he decided to emphasize what the film is really about beneath all of the Marvel lore and action.
Other highlights in the release’s bonus features include a nine-minute exploration of the character’s origins in “Building a Legacy,” as well as a whopping 11 deleted scenes.
Special Features on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and Digital
- Building a Legacy – Go behind the scenes and explore Shang-Chi’s explosive debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe by taking a look at the character’s comic origins, as well as what this film means for Asian representation on screen.
- Family Ties – A deep dive into the rich but complicated legacy of Shang-Chi and his warlord father, Xu Wenwu, through interviews with Simu Liu, Tony Leung, and director Destin Daniel Cretton.
- Deleted Scenes
- They’re Waiting – Shang-Chi and Katy connect with Xialing over a call.
- Take a Shot – Katy has a moment of resolve during a battle.
- Apology – Years after his sudden absence, Shang-Chi tries to apologize to Xialing.
- I’m Here – Shang-Chi and Katy have a conversation in the alley. Katy reassures Shang-Chi that she will always be his support system.
- Pep Talk – In order to turn the tide, Razor Fist encourages Katy during the middle of a battle.
- Greatness – Trevor and Katy bond over passions in their getaway car.
- Escape Tunnel – The gang slips out through Trevor’s escape tunnel in order to secure a getaway vehicle.
- Two Sons – Xu Wenwu compares Shang-Chi and Razor Fist during a tense dinner.
- Postcard – Shang-Chi and Xu Wenwu reunite as father and son. Shang-Chi makes it clear he disagrees with Xu Wenwu’s philosophy.
- Just Friends – Katy and Xialing get to know each other. Xialing asks Katy some personal questions.
- Do It Yourself – Xu Wenwu returns to his empire after the Iron Gang boss is captured.
- Audio Commentary – View the film with Audio Commentary by Destin Daniel Cretton and Dave Callaham.
- Gag Reel – Take a look at some of the fun mishaps on set with the cast and crew of “Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings.”
Zach Goins is a member of the North Carolina Film Critics Association based in Raleigh, N.C. Zach co-founded Inside The Film Room in 2018 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of the website and co-host of the podcast. Zach also serves as a film critic for CLTure.org.