Shang-Chi doubles up with Asian representation, talent

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings premiered in movie theaters Friday and has broken box office records for a U.S. Labor Day weekend opening with an estimated $90 million.

Before his role as Shang-Chi, I saw Simu Liu in Kim’s Convenience as Jung working at a car rental shop. This weekend I got to see him fight as a trained assassin in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

I was nervous when it was first announced that Liu would be playing the first Asian superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe because I’ve only seen him as a guy with dry humor so far.

After seeing him embody Shang-Chi, I have nothing but respect.

The plot follows Shang-Chi as he figures out who he is and where he belongs in the world while also reuniting with his family after many years.

Fans of the comics will notice a lot of changes Marvel made for the film. What stood out to me most was the villain, who has a special relationship with Shang-Chi.

The movie consists of incredible choreography and fight sequences. I’m a huge fan of martial arts and action movies, so I appreciated the effort in filming those scenes. Choosing a unique setting for fight scenes can be challenging for filmmakers, but they made it work with a particular bus fight scene.

I love comedy and there were plenty of moments that gave me a good laugh. I even found some of those moments relatable as an Asian American myself. I enjoy films that tackle serious issues like female empowerment and challenging Asian stereotypes in movies.

Chunks of the dialogue are spoken in Chinese making the storytelling appropriate.

With some scenes shot in San Francisco and Macau, China, there were bright city scenes that highlighted the city's architecture. This movie features fantasy elements and introduces the audience to a new realm within the MCU. The computer-generated imagery was well done and the setting was colorful and vibrant.

I cannot talk about the movie without bringing up the soundtrack. I’m a fan of Asian musicians and the soundtrack includes a handful of artists I already listen to, such as Jhene Aiko, Zion.T and Mark Tuan of K-pop group Got7.

Phase 4 of the MCU is bringing a lot of good change to the film industry. As an Asian American, I commend Marvel for introducing the world to Shang-Chi and making the movie something memorable and enjoyable for all audiences.

There seems to be more movies nowadays with Asian representation. Crazy Rich Asians opened the door for more Asian leads and casts in films. I’m proud to see veteran Asian movie stars play a role in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings such as Michelle Yeoh and Tony Leung Chiu-Wai. I’ve been a fan of Yeoh for a long time and finally seeing her be part of the MCU was one of the reasons I had to watch this.

I could say the movie left me with some questions that will set up for a possible sequel. It blew me away and I enjoyed every second of it. I want to know what’s up next for Shang-Chi and his allies.

The movie succeeded in making me laugh and keeping me interested. I thought Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was a solid 10/10 and I’m ready to see Liu in more fight scenes.


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