Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

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Short takes

Not suitable under 13; parental guidance to 15 (violence, language, themes, scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
  • a review of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 6 September 2021.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not suitable due to violence, language, themes and scary scenes.
Children aged 13–15 Parental guidance recommended due to violence, language, themes and scary scenes.
Children over the age of 15 Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Fantasy themes and violence
Length: 132 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Once, many thousands of years ago, there lived a warrior named Wenwu (Tony Leung) who came upon 10 magical rings. These rings gave Wenwu the strength of a god but all he wanted was power. For one thousand years, no one stood a chance against him and no one ever defeated him until, in more recent times, he meets a young maiden in the forest who is able to bend nature to her will, who gently overpowers him and with whom he soon finds himself falling in love. Wenwu removes the rings that have ruled his life for so long and instead devotes himself to his wife and two young children. When his past catches up with him, and his wife is brutally murdered in retaliation for some long forgotten act he once committed, Wenwu again turns to the rings and begins to build a criminal army bent on revenge. Wenwu trains his young son, Shang-Chi (Jayden Zhang), to be an assassin, while his young daughter he completely ignores. At 14, Shang-Chi (Arnold Sun) is ordered to kill one of the men who killed his mother. He promises his sister he will return in three days but he never does. Instead, he flees to San Francisco in an attempt to lead a normal life. Here he becomes Shaun (Simu Liu), a karaoke-loving valet who, when he isn’t parking cars, is hanging out with his best friend, Katy (Awkwafina). When Wenwu’s men attack Shaun on a bus and take his pendant (the only token he has left of his mother), Shaun and Katy set out for China to find his long lost sister, Xialing (Meng’er Zhang). The family reunion is cut short by another attack from Wenwu’s men, and the siblings and Katy escape, setting off in search of their mother’s legendary village in an effort to stop their father from releasing a demon that could destroy them all.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Death of a parent; Family breakdown; Children used as soldiers or trained assassins; Good versus evil; The quest for power; Gender inequality; Revenge.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is frequent violence in this movie, including:

  • Ancient armies fight each other to the death – explosions occur, people are shot, a man is thrown off a roof.
  • Wenwu blasts electrical balls at a maiden and tries to slice her.
  • The maiden harnesses the power of the wind and the forest around her and bashes Wenwu into the trees.
  • Shaun is attacked by numerous men on a bus. There is kicking, punching, hitting, throwing, slamming, slicing etc. One man has a knife for an arm and tries repeatedly to slash, stab and cut Shaun. The man also manages to cut the brake line which sends the bus careening out of control, down a San Francisco hill. The bus driver is knocked unconscious, they crash into cars as Katy takes the wheel and Shaun continues to fight. The bus is torn apart, destroys numerous cars and eventually comes to a stop, getting jammed against a sanitation truck.
  • Shang-Chi is whipped by Ninjas as a child. He is beaten with sticks, made to fight and his face is cut with a knife.
  • Two characters fight in a ring. One appears to be a monster with gills.
  • Shaun fights against his sister – kicking, punching, wrestling, they place each other in head locks and the fight ends after Shaun is kicked in the crotch and his sister kicks him in the head, knocking him out.
  • Wenwu’s men electrocute people as they attempt to flee the building.
  • Warriors try to attack Shaun with axes as he balances on scaffolding.
  • The same warriors are trying to attack Katy. She falls off the building but is caught at the last minute.
  • Numerous men fall off the building to their deaths.
  • Windows explode and Shaun tries to stop a Ninja. As they fight, the Ninja tries to poke Shaun’s eye out with a knife.
  • Windows are smashed out of a car and a character is punched in the face.
  • There are scenes of weapon training and fighting as Shaun learns to control the elements and Katy learns how to shoot an arrow.
  • Wenwu attacks and kills everyone in a restaurant while his young son watches.
  • Shaun tells Katy that he is going to kill his father.
  • Wenwu’s army attacks a village with electrical weapons, fighting and electrocuting all who oppose them.
  • Wenwu kicks Shaun in the head. They fight in a yard with sticks and then Shaun receives a power punch to the chest that blasts him across the yard and into the water where he sinks into the depths of the lake and is revived by a mythical dragon that lives there.
  • Katy shoots a demon in the neck with an arrow.
  • The dragon eats as many of the evil creatures as it can but it is vastly outnumbered.
  • Wenwu and Shaun fight with the rings between them as Wenwu tries to release the demon from the cave. Shaun bends the rings to his will and begins to use them himself. When his father sacrifices himself for his son, Shaun gets the full power of the rings and uses them to destroy the demon by making its stomach explode and its body fly into pieces.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • There are certain Ninja warriors who wear creepy masks over their faces and fight as if they are possessed and incapable of injuring themselves.
  • There are demonic creatures held in a deep cave behind a fortified wall and guarded by a warrior village. When Shang-Chi’s dad releases them, they attack a village destroying the people and creatures that live there by savagely sucking out their souls.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • As a young boy, Shang-Chi is there when a large mob of men come looking for his father. His mother sends him and his little sister inside while more menacing individuals begin to arrive. Shang-Chi watches from a window as they kill his mother. He and his sister are later found weeping over her body.
  • There are a couple of scenes where a magical forest attempts to destroy anyone who ventures into it by crushing them with trees or ejecting them over cliffs. The scenes are always intense with loud music and could frighten some viewers.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • After his mother’s death, Shang-Chi’s father, Wenwu, trains him as an assassin. Wenwu gets his men to whip Shang-Chi, fight him, cut him and to show him no mercy. His fists are bruised and bloody from repeatedly punching the same tree trunk. Shang-Chi continues his training until he is 14 and his father sends him off to assassinate one of the men who killed his mother.

Thirteen and overinfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Funyuns are shown and mentioned.
  • The BMW brand is briefly shown.

Sexual references

  • None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Shaun takes off his shirt for a fight and his bare torso is exposed.
  • Shaun’s parents begin to fight but the altercation soon becomes more of a dance and later they are shown in love and married while she is pregnant with their second child.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Whiskey is mentioned.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Shit
  • Bullshit
  • Bloody Hell
  • Mooch
  • Asshole
  • Freaking Hell
  • Screw you
  • Bitch
  • Damn.

In a nutshell

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a fantasy adventure with lots of action sequences and special effects that are customary of Marvel Studios. It is the origin story of superhero Shang-Chi however, due to the themes, language and violent content this is not a family film but rather one that will be best enjoyed by older teen and mature audiences.

The main messages from this movie are that elements of good and evil exist within us all and that it is not our past or our parents that define who we are but rather the choices we make in the present.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Perseverance
  • Friendship
  • Courage
  • Strength
  • The power of community
  • Teamwork.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Disregarding daughters and favouring sons.
  • Being blinded by hatred, greed, the desire for power or revenge.
  • Subjecting a child to brutal training and encouraging them to kill.
  • Turning every thought to revenge as opposed to working on forgiveness.