by Sreeja Gangula ’25
Published Oct. 16th, 2021
Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, a 2021 film released on September 3rd as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, tells the story of a man named Shang Chi, played by Simu Liu.
A motif from this movie centers around the abuse of power, exerted through uncontrollable emotions involving the death of Shang Chi’s mother. After her tragic death, Shang Chi’s family falls apart as they each go their separate ways and find themselves living entirely different lifestyles.
Throughout the film, an emphasis is placed on Asian culture, heritage, and traditions. Many people are not used to having to read subtitles and watch a movie simultaneously, and as a major chunk of the movie is in Mandarin, it makes it difficult for some viewers.
Shang Chi’s new life as a normal man introduces a new character into the Cinematic Universe: Katy.
Katy’s character was very well-received because she provided a sense of relatableness with the viewer. She is a normal person with normal problems, just like all of us. Katy is played by Awkwafina, a personable and energetic star that thrives as a character who discovers a deeper sense of emotional identity as the story plays out.
The plot of the movie escalates as a series of events bring back Shang Chi and his estranged sister to fight their father, who is tricked by evil spirits into thinking that his wife is trapped in another realm and needs to be let out. The film ends with some of Marvel’s most visually impressive action scenes to date..
Ultimately, Marvel’s latest film provides a mix of rich culture, relatable characters, and intense action scenes that keep the movie fresh and interesting. Shang Chi represents a slight departure from previous Marvel films as it emphasizes a battle between family, morals, and culture. Shang Chi is a great movie for fans of the Marvel franchise, bearing the signature pacing and energy standard of Marvel titles while also adding a richer personal narrative behind the action.