Shang-Chi Destroying Stereotypes

In September 2021, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) released its first movie about an Asian American superhero who was played by a Canadian actor who was born in Asia. When people think of Marvel movies, they think of Iron Man, Spiderman, Captain America, Black Widow, Thor, etc. However, the movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings cast was mostly Asian, including the director. The movie got an A+ cinema rating, which was a higher score than the Black Widow movie which came out earlier this year. 

This Marvel movie was the first movie to have an almost all Asian cast and director. The main protagonist, Shang-Chi, is played by Sumi Liu, who was born in China but raised in Canada. According to yahoo.com, when Sumi Liu found out about the movie, he posted a tweet saying, “OK, @Marvel, are we gonna talk or what #Shang-Chi.” His co-stars play Katy, the best friend, Xialing, the sister, Xu Wenwu, Shang-Chi’s dad, and more. The best friend Katy is played by Awkafina, an American actress and rapper. She was born in New York and got the Glamour Award for Game-Changing Creator. Xialing, the sister, is played by Chinese actress Meng’er Zhang. She was born in Nanjing, China, and this is her first cinematic appearance. Finally, the dad and leader of the Ten Rings army, Xu Wenwu is played by Tony Lueng Chiu-wai. His birthplace is British Hong Kong and he’s one of Asia’s most successful international actors. There is also one character, Razor-fist, who is played by Florian Munteanu, a German-Romanian born in Munich, Germany.  

Left to right: Meng’er Zhang as Xialang, Sumi Liu as Shang-Chi, and Awkafina as Katy

Movies are getting more diverse, every time one comes out. That’s important because all throughout the past century, television and movies have been primarily white Americans. It’s nice to see that we are beginning to change that stereotype. According to nytimes.com, the movie Shang-Chi and the legend of the Ten Rings was actually a comic book, which gave them a lot of creative freedom and range to twist up and really make it something new. The director, Destin Daniel Cretton, also according to nytimes.com did not even know about the comic book or the superhero and thought it was the Korean American Hulk, Amadeus Cho. So, for people who have not seen it yet or don’t plan on seeing it, the movie is about a Chinese American that was great at martial arts trying to break away from his dad. According to cnn.com, Cretton did not want the characters to fall into stereotypical characteristics, which is hard especially when the majority of the cast is Asian including the director, screenwriter, and it was based on the original comic book which had an Asian protagonist. 

Overall, this movie is the starting point for new movie expectations. Even though Sumi Liu posted a tweet, it did not have any effect on him getting the role movies will always be fair to everyone. If you have not seen it yet, I highly recommend seeing Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. It is a spectacular movie with spectacular actors and actresses who do amazing stunts and acting. The movie has a great story, too. So, let’s hope that the Marvel Cinematic Universe will come out with more amazing movies with amazing stories too. 

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