by Anna Tillman
Marvel Studios has recently released movies and TV shows that follow new superheroes and the challenges they must overcome. It has been an exciting time meeting the next generation of Marvel heros. The newest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe is “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” — and it is a hit! Fans are raving over this latest movie.
Shang-Chi is a martial arts master who needs to face his past when he cannot avoid his connection to the Ten Rings organization. Simu Liu, who plays the film’s main character, stars as the first ever Asian superhero in the MCU. The movie’s first weekend in theaters was immensely successful, earning over $71 million. This broke the record for a movie premiering on Labor Day weekend.
“Shang-Chi” has a captivating plot, while simultaneously illustrating the effects a movie filled with cultural representation can have on viewers. The well-thought-out plot centered on Asian culture is a brand-new look for Marvel. Everyone involved in the movie-making process is unbelievably proud of the final product and the message it sends to all viewers.
“It just shows the world just how much I, and we all, believe in this movie and how incredible it’s going to be,” said Liu. “It’s truly going to change the world” (Variety).
It is so incredibly important to have cultural representation in movies, especially with the issues going on in our world today. In a recent study, it was found that there was a 70% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes in the U.S. during 2020. Also, New York had a 223% increase in reports of anti-Asian hate crimes in 2021. Research has highlighted that the spread of hate can be correlated with misrepresentation of Asian culture in movies. William Yu is a screenwriter and creative strategist who stated that “Shang-Chi” can be seen as a turning point for these misconceptions.
“We can see these types of Asian characters who are not only heroic but also have flaws and a range of experiences that make them complex and interesting,” he said (BBC).
“Shang-Chi” will be talked about for years to come — not only for being an entertaining new addition to the MCU, but also for the inspiration it provides. So go buy your tickets and rush to the theater to experience this trailblazing movie for yourself!