'Shang-Chi': AAPI Heritage Month Must-See Movies

Today's AAPI must-see movie is "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings," the first MCU blockbuster to feature an Asian lead and majority cast.

Chuck Walton

By Chuck Walton

Shang-Chi AAPI Heritage Month

© Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / © Marvel Studios / Courtesy Everett Collection

It's been a long time coming. We're proud to highlight the 25th Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, an AAPI showcase called "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings."

The Movie

Here's what we can tell from the amazing teaser trailer below, and online reports so far.

Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) was raised by his father Wenwu (Tony Leung), aka The Mandarin, to be a deadly martial artist who would assume his place next to his dad at the top of the shady Ten Rings organization.

However, Shang-Chi, who's spent the last decade on his own and enjoying his freedom in San Francisco, would prefer not to be an assassin. He's got a life and good friends, including the spunky Katy (Awkwafina), and he's trying hard not to lose them.

Dad comes calling, though, and so do lots of other menacing figures. As much as Shang-Chi might want to evade his destiny as the next great superhero, the future has arrived

From what we can tell, lots of great action sequences, some family drama, some fun comedy a la Awkwafina and more MCU fireworks are all the order of the day.

© Warner Bros. Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection

© Warner Bros. Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection

Also, Simu Liu's Shang-Chi looks entirely badass and up to the tasks at hand.

The AAPI Connection

"Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" is a key Asian and AAPI cinematic event. As with "Black Panther" before it, the movie is a landmark blockbuster for significant representation. Simu Liu, Awkwafina, Tony Leung, Michelle Yeoh, Fala Chen are all actors of Chinese descent. Director and co-writer Destin Daniel Cretton is part Japanese and grew up in Hawaii. Co-writer David Callaham is also Chinese American.

We applaud the MCU for finally bringing the project, which has been in development since the early '00s, to the big screen.

Why You Should See It

Phase Four of the MCU looks to gain awesome new ground in the teaser preview for "Shang-Chi." More than 30 years ago, the cult classic "Big Trouble in Little China" hilariously showcased the out-of-his-element westerner-turned-clueless-hero Jack Burton taking on all kinds of mystical forces and influences from the east on the streets of San Francisco. However, the real hero of that film - the one with the true skills - was Dennis Wu's Wang Chi.

Now, we'll have an Asian star in a contemporary, mainstream blockbuster setting, who has those same skills and gets to be the lead for everyone, in a story where the Asian and AAPI take on all kinds of character roles.

© Marvel Studios / Courtesy Everett Collection

© Marvel Studios / Courtesy Everett Collection

Look for "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" in theaters only on September 3, 2021.

Did You Know

"Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" star Michelle Yeoh will appear in the film as the character Jiang Nan. However, it's not her first time at the MCU rodeo, as Yeoh previously appeared as Aleta Ogord, also known as Starhawk, in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2."

Chuck Walton

Chuck is an editor/writer who's worked for NCM, Fandango, Movies.com, MediaTrip, Hollywood.com and Newsweek. His favorite movie is "Jaws." He's definitely a dog guy.

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