Hey! Hallie here!
This morning Simu Liu shared the poster for Marvel’s upcoming movie ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’. Obviously, he looks amazing and the costume is stunning. He also gave us the release date for the movie; September 3rd. All of that was exciting enough, and he was very excited to share all of it with fans on his birthday, but he informed fans they’d have to wait a few weeks for the trailer. Minutes after that post, Marvel released the trailer. Not only was it an amazing birthday gift for Simu Liu, it also gave Marvel fans a lot to talk about. This trailer looks sooooo good. I really want to just jump into the contents of the trailer, but I’ll start this off with a disclaimer that I’ve watched all the Marvel films but have read very few Marvel comics. If I miss a callback to the comics, my apologies. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to the trailer.
One of the major pulls of any Marvel movie are the action sequences. What’s the point of watching superheroes if they don’t fight? This trailer’s fight sequences are probably the best I’ve seen in Marvel ever. It’s fast paced and precise. Even the training montage in this trailer was a joy to watch. Some of the fight scenes have choreography that honors the best of the wuxia genre, including jumps and fast footwork that make the characters look as though they have the capability of flight. The general use of intensely impressive kung fu at such a fast pace makes every shot breathtaking. I’m excited to see this movie for the fight choreography alone. We also got an entire action sequence where a bus careened down a San Fransisco street. It was fun to watch Simu Liu save those in the bus from dramatically flying out of the bus windows, but I couldn’t help but notice they passed Ghiradelli before they managed to stop the bus. For those who don’t know, Ghiradelli is a chocolate brand from San Fransisco. The reference to one of my favorite chocolate brands gets added respect from me.
The plot is simple, but already interesting. The beginning of the trailer alludes to Shang-Chi’s childhood as the son of a master assassin, Wenwu, apparently associated with the Ten Rings terrorist organization we’ve heard about since the first ‘Iron Man’ film. (It also seems that one of the many names this character has gone by is ‘The Mandarin’ for those who were frustrated by the ‘Iron Man 3’ version of the character.) His father trained him harshly, even abusively, to follow his footsteps. But it seems as though Shang-Chi is both addicted to and resentful of the lifestyle his father forced him into. He continues to train as an adult but, as the voiceover tells us, he has left his father’s side. We see him in San Fransisco partying with his friend Katy, played by Awkwafina, and acting as a valet, attempting to live somewhat of a normal life. But it’s clear his father is done waiting after ten years have passed since Shang-Chi left. We see him refuse to rejoin his father, but he is frequently attacked by masked assailants and other expert martial artists. The creators of this movie have called the film a family-drama, and the trailer only reinforces the idea that the film will rely heavily on the poor relationship between Shang-Chi and his father. I’m excited to see how they explore a superhero raised by a villainous character.
The Creative Team:
Hollywood, and all of Disney’s production companies, have developed the frustrating habit of creating movies intended to represent a marginalized group without putting a creative team that represents the group behind the scenes. It’s resulted in incredible failures, such as Disney’s live action ‘Mulan’ film. This movie has finally put the right people behind the scenes. We have Destin Daniel Cretton as director, who was born in Hawaii and who is of Japanese descent. He’s done mostly indy films, but he’s been praised for his dramatic works such as the 2019 film ‘Just Mercy’. Despite being open about not wanting to create a Marvel film in the past, when the film was announced as part of the MCU lineup, he immediately saw an opportunity to bring more representation to the big screen. Given that the original character of Shang-Chi was written by white writers, he’s talked about working with David Callaham, to rid the movie of such stereotypes. David Callaham is an American writer of Chinese descent who has worked on major action films such as 2014’s ‘Godzilla’ and ‘Wonder Woman 1984’. These are just two amongst the plethora of Asian creators working on this film. This combined with Chinese-Canadian actor Simu Liu, who jokingly tweeted at Marvel about the role when the project was announced and now has one of the most adorable stories about getting cast in a Marvel film, seems to set this film up for greatness.
That’s what we know so far about the movie! This was one of the best trailers I’ve ever seen for a Marvel movie. It doesn’t give away too much of the plot, but it shows just enough to hook you in. And, once again, the fight sequences are so stunning that it’s difficult to come away from the trailer without being completely amazed. I’m so happy this film is being released and I can’t wait to watch it when it comes out September 3rd. So far Marvel’s Phase IV has been completely overtaken by ‘WandaVision’, but I have a feeling this movie will give it some serious competition.
Don’t do anything fun until I get back!