Movie Reviews

Is Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings Appropriate for Kids?

To take a kid a kid or not take a kid? That is the question. Well, it’s a question parents ask themselves when deciding to take kids to see a Marvel movie. I grew up on comic books and superheroes and I am always excited when a new superhero movie is announced. Sometimes, I take my younger kids on blind faith that the movie will be appropriate and other times I see it ahead of time.

When deciding on taking a kid to see a Marvel movie or not, I go on what I know about the hero and movies that could be similar. Marvel has got filmmaking down to a science at the moment and knows how to put together a movie that will appeal to a wide range of audiences. That being said, when I want to see a movie like Guardians of the Galaxy, I see it ahead of time because of the sexual innuendos and the villains that could scare young kids. The same goes for the Avenger movies. Avenger movies always up the violence up a notch, so I check them out before I take the kids.

I took my 9-year-old son to see Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings without screening it first. Before seeing the movie, I knew very little about the character. He showed up in a few comic books I read when I was a kid to help another hero, but I bought nothing devoted solely to him. After doing some research on the title character, I figured there would be a lot of hand-to-hand combat and would probably be fine for my son. And I was right.

It was fine for my son, but it might not be for yours. Here’s what to expect.

There’s a lot of hand-to-hand combat. It is a martial arts movie, after all. And there is a lot. A lot. There are also swords, bows and arrows, and guns used. Many people die in this movie and sometimes it’s close up. That being said, there is very little blood. Remember when I said Marvel has movies down to a science? This is how they try to appeal to a wide range of audiences. They have a lot of violence and action, with little bloodshed.

As far as sex goes, there’s none.

There is foul language in the movie and they mainly used it for comic purposes, which I’m not a fan of. My kids live in NYC, so they hear much worse on the sidewalks. This requires a conversation with my kids about what’s appropriate to say in public. There weren’t a lot of bad words, but the most popular word used was, “shit.”

There are some scary images that might frighten younger kids. Without giving too much away, there’s a battle scene where souls are taken and that could scare kids.

If you’re not familiar with Shang-Chi, here’s a short synopsis with a minor spoiler.

Shang-Chi is the son of a mighty warrior from a hidden kingdom in China. The father is a thousand years old and receives power from The 10 Rings. The 10 Rings is a bit complicated, so just go with me on it. Shang-Chi is summoned home after running away as a teen and living for years in San Francisco. The father and son don’t quite see eye-to-eye and have some disagreements. After letting his son know he is about to invade his mother’s home, Shang-Chi puts the training he received as a child into action to save his mother’s homeland.

There is a lot more to the story, but I don’t want to give anything else away.

I liked the movie and so did my 9-year-old son and 17-year-old son. I wouldn’t put it in my top 10 Marvel movies, but I really enjoyed the movie and loved the martial arts aspect of it. The acting is fantastic and there’s a lot of humor, mostly brought by comedian Awkwafina.

I’m going to wait a couple of years before I show my 7-year-old daughter, because she isn’t quite ready to see some of the close-up fighting. If you’ve let your kids watch other Marvel movies, they should be fine with this one.


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