Review: Shang Chi

Olivia Hernandez

From start to finish, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings displays breathtaking visuals and manages to tug at the heartstrings, simultaneously becoming the funniest Marvel movie since Thor: Ragnarok. Its action-packed scenes filled with intensity keep the viewer wondering when an enemy will secretly sucker punch our fearless heroes or why Wong is using his sorcery skills to fight an amateur wrestler. The film offers more than just an addition to the ever-growing Marvel Cinematic Universe: it also opens up Hollywood to more Asian representation. Inclusivity is key in media representation, so getting such an influential film like Shang-Chi honoring Asian culture is crucial for the industry’s success.

Simu Liu, the male lead and the film’s very own Shang-Chi, displays the search for identity and the burdens of family secrets. His sister, Xu Xialing, and his father Wenwu, the leader of the Ten Rings, add to the themes of abandonment, with their stern and ruthless behaviors resulting in intense scenes. Although the story is surrounded by Shang-Chi addressing his past and reuniting with his family, the true scene stealer is the lovable yet faceless Dijiang named Morris. His cheerful attitude and squeal-filled banter with a returning face (Trevor Slattery) truly displays his star quality and promising future amongst the MCU. His physical features alone show how cute he is, even if he doesn’t have a face! Another scene-stealer is Awkwafina’s character Katy, who contributes to the comedic relief in the film and has one of the largest character arcs in the MCU. Formerly a singing valet attendant, she transforms into a powerful archer in a matter of minutes and helps Shang-Chi save the day. Overall, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a wonderful movie and I cannot wait for the return of Shang-Chi and the future of the Marvel franchise.