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Movie Review: ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’

The awaited “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings premiered Sept. 3, directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, and broke numerous records during Labor Day weekend. Starring Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, and Awkwafina as Katy, this film pays respect to martial arts films and Chinese and Asian heritage. The movie will be available to watch on Disney+ on Nov. 12 for everyone to see. 

“I thought I could change my name, start a new life… but I could never escape his shadow,” Shang-Chi said. 

The film follows Shang-Chi, otherwise known as Shaun, who lives in San Francisco working as a valet driver with his friend Katy. Unknown to Katy, Shang-Chi has escaped his prior life as a killer trained in martial arts to get revenge on his mother’s killers. After a decade of escaping his past, he is soon attacked for the green pendant his mother gave him. The attack eventually leads him to being reunited with his family and much more.  

This movie is great for being a standalone film if you are new to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Shang-Chi goes in-depth with the struggles of younger Asian Americans and touches on the importance of family, individualism, and the struggle of being a part of two worlds.

What sets this movie apart from the rest of the MCU is the authenticity of it as a whole. Some scenes were spoken in Mandarin instead of being entirely in English. Also, having an Asian superhero lead on screen as part of the MCU is refreshing as it paves the way for more diversity. 

I was enamored with the fight sequences. They reminded me of fight scenes from movies likeIp Manbecause of their martial art elements. Fight scenes with kung fu and tai chi are portrayed beautifully, but I think they used too much computer-generated imagery towards the end of the movie.

 It made me happy to see someone similar to me on the big movie screen and not portrayed as the stereotypes Asian Americans are thought to be. While I did enjoy the movie, I wish they could have given Shang-Chi’s sister, Xialing, more screen time because she is just that awesome and deserved  more character development. Like previous Asian American films like “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Farewell,” hopefully this is another step for Asian Americans to be portrayed more accurately in Hollywood. Ultimately, this film gives younger generations a superhero they can look up to.

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