The cinematic universe of Marvel superheroes is finally getting back on track. There was the most recent release of "Black Widow" in July that found box office success. But that was considered more of a prequel film. The newest addition to the MCU hitting theaters this weekend, "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings," will be introducing a new hero for boys and girls to stan for. We'll get to see a new actor find Marvel glory and become the world's newest sensation. And for those fans of Marvel comic books, they'll get to see Shang-Chi finally come to life on the big screen. So, to make sure you're ready for "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings," we've compiled the 9 things you need to know before you watch it in theaters this weekend.
Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton
"Just Mercy" director Destin Daniel Cretton is stepping into the limelight to direct this big-budget film. In the past, he's directed indie films like "The Glass Castle" and "Short Term 12." But he's never been at the helm of anything quite like this. Cretton's specialty has been capturing and exploring raw human moments with social films that focus more on emotional struggles. Though Marvel films don't usually dig that deep into the emotional side of things, we're interested to see how Cretton's expertise might shine through to make this addition to the MCU an even more meaningful one.
The Lead Actor's Name Is Simu Liu
This film is actually establishing Marvel's first ever lead Asian superhero Shang-Chi and that hero is being played by Chinese Canadian actor Simu Liu. His character, known as the Master of Kung Fu and Brother Hand from the Marvel comics, has existed for years. Now actor Simu Liu is getting the golden opportunity to bring audiences a live action version. Liu has had various acting jobs with his most notable role as Jung on the TV series "Kim's Convenience." But this role is the kind that will change his life forever.
Awkwafina Plays a Major Role
Though she's not really a superhero in the film, Awkwafina has managed to make her way into the MCU alongside Simu Liu. Her character Katy and Liu's character Shang-Chi/Shaun are basically best friends. Because of that friendship, she's going to get roped into the drama as well. Even though we usually see Awkwafina playing supporting characters that remain primarily on the sidelines, that isn't at all the case here. We're going to see her by Shang-Chi's side through thick and thin. But don't worry, she's still also bringing that classic awkwardly cheesy comedy we all know and love.
It's Full of Classic MCU-Style Humor
One thing we really love about these kinds of films is that they bring the action. But something we love even more in the MCU is the comedy. We'll tip our hats to Marvel for this one because you're in for a lot of funny moments. Somehow, they have a winning formula of knowing just when to drop in the perfectly timed joke that will have the entire audience in tears. And having Awkwafina in this film should already tell you that Marvel's aiming for your funny bone. Almost every member of the cast has at least one line that's sure to make you giggle.
This Takes Place After 'Avengers: Endgame'
It's not entirely clear if this film takes place after the events of "Spider-Man: Far From Home," but we can confirm that it takes place sometime after "Avengers: Endgame." At one point it's mentioned that people should live their lives to the fullest as half of the population could be dusted again with a snap of someone's fingers. This also reinforces that we're moving forward in the MCU and that the new hero Shang-Chi will have a role to play in it.
Watch 'Iron Man 3' and 'Doctor Strange' Before This
As we count down the 9 things you need to know before watching "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings," we'll say that this is probably the most important. In order to get the full scope of what's going on in this film, it would help for you to watch "Iron Man 3" and "Doctor Strange." Without spoiling anything, there may be certain characters from those films that make an appearance. As with the rest of the MCU, the film has intricate connections and nods that later come into play when you least expect them.
Get Ready for Some Superhero Stunts
We know this probably isn't one of the things you needed to know as it's obvious that "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" will be packed with stunts. But we must note that lead actor Simu Liu actually performs most of his own stunts. This film in particular is overflowing with epic fight sequences and carefully choreographed stunts. Even in its insanity, Liu and other members of the cast manage to make it look easy.
The Power Is in the Rings
When looking at this new superhero, you might wonder, what makes him super? Well, his special abilities are mainly his fighting skills that he's acquired from years of training. The only real otherworldly power he wields actually comes from the infamous ten rings. Without the rings, Shang-Chi can certainly hold his own. But he's only human. You can think of Shang-Chi as a mortal martial artist who has an ancient weapon that wouldn't look out of place in the office of another MCU superhero.
There Are Mid and End Credits Scenes
Finally, this will be one of things that we remind you about even though you probably already know. After you watch "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings," make sure you stay until the very end of all the credits. If you have any interest in knowing what the future holds for our new hero, then you'll need to wait and see what lies after the credits. There's a mid-credits scene and a post-credits scene, and both foreshadow possible events to come.
September 3, 2021
Jesse is a writer and content manager for Noovie. When he's not working, he's on the beach playing volleyball.