Shang-Chi hits the big screens

Courtesy of

Kai Li Howard, Head Copy Editor

Marvel’s new movie breaks Labor Day weekend records for opening sales, selling an estimated total of $71.4 million in the U.S. Officially launched on Friday, September 3, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings had a budget of about $150 million. Critics of the movie stated it would “flop” due to its low budget and exclusive release in theaters. They were proved wrong when the film hit the big screens. 

In the cinematic universe of Marvel, the Ten Rings organization is a terrorist group formed by Xu Wenwu who is known as the Mandarin and Shang-chi’s father. This organization was first seen in Iron Man (2008) kidnapping Tony Stark in an attempt to force him to provide weapons. Over the years the Ten Rings have developed into an undercover operation.  

As Marvel’s first Asian superhero, Shang-Chi is played by Simu Liu who specializes in acting, writing, and stunts. Before joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Liu could be found floating around the internet with his laughable stock photos. Along with Liu, Awkwafina who played the role of Katy and Michelle Yeoh who played Jiang Nan both acted in lovable films such as Crazy Rich Asians. Additionally, Tony Leung and Fala Chen are popular mentions who took on the role of the Mandarin and Leiko Wu, his daughter. 

This groundbreaking movie paved several roads towards Asian representation as it captured the culture of Chinese martial arts such as kung fu. To ensure that the fight scenes and stances were accurate and authentic, Marvel hired the famous Brad Allen to coordinate the action. Allen recently passed away on August 7 due to a disclosed illness at the age of 48. He was a martial artist and stunt guru who was widely known for his involvement with Jackie Chan as a part of Chan’s stunt team. All the fight scenes in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings were organized by Allen himself. 

By incorporating culture into the movie, it helps stray away from negative stereotypes that society has produced. Previously, Marvel created a fictional character named Fu Manchu who was introduced in 1973 in which had several racist traits such as his exaggerated appearance with stereotypical Asian features, bright yellow skin tone, and other derogatory aspects that were dehumanizing. With the lack of diversity in American media, Asian representation has always struggled to show their genuine cultures. However, with new movies such as Parasite, Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings, and Crazy Rich Asians: building up Asians in the media can shed light on minorities who can relate to the characters and eliminate negative impacts. 

Overall, the film did exceptionally well in theaters and is currently the highest-grossing movie in 2021. As it has become the fan favorite of several Marvel followers, expectations for upcoming movies such as Eternals and Spider-Man: No Way Home are sky-rocketing. Setting the bar high, supporters look forward to future films from the Marvel franchise.