Shang-Chi and the Legend of Entertaining Superhero Movies

Aimee Choup, Contributor

Wrapping up a massive summer for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, following the release of three separate Disney+ shows and a feature film, comes Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

The unbelievable amount of content being put out by Marvel, alongside the film’s reliance on surprise plot points, means the vague, sparse promotion for this movie did little to build hype for non-Marvel fans. Bob Jones freshman, Makayla Brown, a casual Marvel fan, even admitted they “haven’t even seen the trailer.” I’m a huge fan, myself, and I hadn’t even seen any trailers before going in. While it did help with the aforementioned surprise plot points, there was worry about how this film would stand up in the box office.

Another unfortunately huge portion of the concern over how Shang-Chi would be received had to do with its predominantly Asian cast. Marvel fandom and critics both find themselves divided whenever solo superhero films focused on women (2019’s Captain Marvel and 2021’s Black Widow) or people of color (2018’s Black Panther) are released. Shang-Chi’s star, Simu Liu, responded to these concerns by reassuring viewers “we are not an experiment … we are the surprise.”

And surprise they did, as all this worry has proved wonderfully unfounded. The Atlantic reports Shang-Chi earning “$94 million domestically over its opening weekend, breaking the box-office record for a Labor Day release.” And people aren’t just seeing the movie, they’re enjoying it too; Shang-Chi’s audience rating on RottenTomatoes is sitting at a lofty (and well deserved) 98%. 

Critics aside, Bob Jones’s own had much to say about the film. Shang-Chi manages to hold its own as an entertaining superhero movie; senior Bella Wendling saying, “It was enjoyable to watch, it always kept your attention.” It manages to hold its own as a film celebrating Asian culture. Freshman Isabelle Thomasy noted, “I like that Marvel is including other cultures and different ethnicities.” Lastly, it manages to hold its own as a piece of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “This movie added much to my excitement of the future of the MCU,” said senior Anne Elise Cairns.

Record-breaking, Certified Fresh, and now given the Patriot Pages seal of approval, Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a must-see this movie season.