Shang-Chi: The MCU’s Expansion into Diverse Representation


Rickelle Henderson

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” is Marvel Studios’ most recent addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One of Shang-Chi’s major strengths is its soulfulness, previously done so well by the likes of Black Panther. Although Shang-Chi follows the familiar origin story formula, there are a few twists and turns that set this character’s journey apart from the others. 

The first half of the movie is decently entertaining, fast-paced and following some identifiable drama. The first half provides critical background information about the family and how the brother ends up away from his family, his sister is nowhere to be found except for a postcard she supposedly “sent” and how their father is doing everything in his power to get his family back together to get his wife/ their mother back. The second half of the film, however, truly goes above and beyond. The Chinese culture within the Ta-Lo forest is captured by the traditions and mythical creatures and animals they share and cherish. Fuzzy sidekick Morris, for example, is known as a creature associated with the Chinese god and the element of chaos. The myth of the dragon which is the Great Protector, a dragon god that resides in the lake of the realm and is the source of its power. The Great Protector that grants the people of Ta Lo their abilities and their incredible armor and weapons to fight off the demons that come along thought the last part of the movie, and whoever is powerful enough with the eternal realization that Shang-Chi is finally worthy enough to claim that power and use it responsibly.  is abundant, there’s tons of visually striking imagery, a fantastical setting, loads of insane action choreography. 

We follow the adventure of a pre-teen having to fight off attackers because his father needed revenge after his wife’s revenge killing and in the beginning of the movie we feel as if Shang did not ever complete his mission on killing the last person who attacked his mom. Which encouraged him to leave that insane life behind, only for old enemies to push him back towards the ten rings, rejuvenating his power-obsessed past self. This is where the story of Shang-Chi begins. When the film catches up with him, Shang-Chi is working as a valet driver in the US, and going by the name of Shaun, in an attempt to assimilate and escape his family’s powerful legacy. However, it is clear he cannot be truly free from it, when some men track him down in search of a pendant given to him by his late mother and from there, a battle to overcome his father begins. The storyline continues incredibly, and we understand the moments of humor the MCU is so well-known for, and we are all here for it. Because of COVID-19, however, I didn’t have Shang-Chi spoiled early on with leaks. I went to an early showing and experienced Shang-Chi for myself with my full attention not to miss a single hidden egg or symbol for new movies to come. Such as in the scene when Katy, Shang, and his sister go back to their academy with their father who had a calling to save their late mother who passed away in a tragic attack with a rival gang. Mandarin goes with his children with his ten rings and with the glowing yellow eyes in the dragon, showing the tai-lo forest with water waves and a secret passage that only opens up on certain times of the day and year which is a hidden egg pertaining to the next Marvel movie Eternals. This movie displays some of the most remarkably phenomenal combat performances in a Marvel movie I had ever seen. When Shang-Chi is trying to fight off his father who is trying to get to the Dweller-in-Darkness where he feels his late wife is staying and locked up is such an enchanting part of the movie to watch (that i can’t spoil) and even better on the biggest screen you can find. If you have seen Marvel movies consistently, you’ve got to know that the narrative is a predictable storyline for Marvel’s superhero foundation adventures. 

This film is full of many great moments, with its battle sequences and action set pieces, which is arguably a major attraction of the film itself. Marvel once again excels in terms of CGI. The graphics are so compelling that you don’t regret stepping inside a cinema hall in times of a pandemic. They’re worth it. This is one of the better, exceptional Marvel films I’ve ever seen and would highly recommend watching this one if you’re getting into the new phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe!


Highlights : 

Cast & Brilliant performances

Stunning top notch visual effects

Extraordinary High Octane Action Stunts

Fantastic Cinematography

Terrific Background Score

Good story and Direction