Simu Liu’s potential as Shang-Chi is showcased by combining Marvel with martial arts.

Simu Liu's
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Simu Liu plays a son fleeing his destiny in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. But, in order to land this leading part, Liu forged his own way, first snarkily tweeting at Marvel in 2014, requesting stronger Asian representation.

Today, Liu is the star of Marvel’s first Asian-led film, and she is living the dream. The Mississauga-raised actor deserves credit for putting in the effort. As silly hottie, Jung on Kim’s Convenience, where he displayed his comedic abilities, Canada — and admirers all over the world fell in love with him.

It’s difficult to separate the picture from what it represents when so much is hanging on Shang-shoulders. Chi’s It’s a long overdue dose of diversity, similar to 2018’s Black Panther, adding more Asian characters to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with a film inspired by Chinese folklore and film aesthetics. It’s also Marvel’s much-anticipated Phase Four’s initial theatrical release. Shang-Chi is the first taste of Marvel’s cinematic goals for the next decade, excluding the ever-growing Disney+ series.

As a result, the picture has some brilliant moments, but it lacks the startling boldness of Black Panther. Killmonger, one of Marvel’s most important villains in a decade, was inspired by filmmaker Ryan Coogler’s personal experience growing up Black in Oakland, California.

Shang-villainy Chi nearly steals the spotlight once more. Wenwu, the power-hungry commander and guardian of the 10 rings, enigmatic weapons of tremendous power that he’s utilized in the shadows for ages, is played by Tony Leung, a legendary Hong Kong film star. Wenwu lacks Killmonger’s visceral feeling of wrath, but Leung instead creates a villain who is more compelling than horrible. A crimelord with a heartbreaking sense of love and loyalty at his core.