“Shang Chi” represents Asian culture well but lacks plot

Shang-Chi took in $94 million at the box office over Labor Day weekend.

Courtesy of Marvel

Shang-Chi took in $94 million at the box office over Labor Day weekend.

Shang-Chi is the newest superhero from Marvel. The movie was launched on Sept. 3, and on its first weekend the film made $140 million dollars. The movie really deserves all this box office attention since we are talking about one of the best superhero presentations to hit the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” has a simple plot that talks about family the whole time. Shang-Chi is a Chinese boy who was trained by his father to kill, but he was never a villain; he always wanted to be a good person that protected all. At some point his father wanted to put the family together but his methods were not always correct.

Other than the story not being the best, this movie has the best fights and choreography in the MCU; it isn’t only the way they fight in the movie but also the way the director depicts the fights. There are a lot of fights and almost all of them have a clear expiration from the classic Asian movies.

The VFX of the movie was made by nine different studios and the supervisor was Christopher Townsend. Everyone involved did a really good job bringing to reality many types of beasts that are presented in the Asian culture. Also, how the VFX comes together brings the fights to another level.

The main point for me that became a problem was the story of the movie; there is nothing that is new or innovative in the plot. The story is kind of predictable, but I think that once you leave the movie theater, the fact that the story is not that complex kind of fades away because of all the detailed VFX and fights.

Forgetting about the VFX, fights and story, the most important aspect of this movie is that there is representation. According to the FBI, 61.9% of hate crimes happen because of race, ethnicity and ancestry. As an immigrant, I could understand all the situations he described in some scenes. Seeing a superhero that we can understand and relate to his past, and to the personality he has and his motives is important because we care about the character. Representation is not important for white Americans, but it is important for immigrants, for Asians and minorities because we can see ourselves on the screen, which makes us feel important.

What they did really well is not forcing representation. It was very natural; they made more than half of the movie in Chinese with subtitles.

This movie is genuinely funny. You will laugh and also get very strong connections to the next movies from Marvel and the future of MCU.

I would say Shang-Chi is a complete success. Besides the story, which is very simple, it talks a lot about friendship, family and relationships in general. The movie gives space for Asian representation with fights inspired by classic asian movies. I rate the movie an 8 out of 10

Now grab some popcorn and go watch it.

Dedicated to Brad Allen who coordinated all the amazing fights, who died before the movie came out.