5 Reasons Why Shang-Chi Will Be My First Trip Back To The Movie Theater In Well Over A Year

Simu Liu in the middle

Do you want to know the last movie I saw in the movie theater? Onward. Onward! That movie came out on March 6, 2020! That lines up, since a lot of stuff started shutting down around that time last year, but hot damn! That’s a long time to not go to the movies when I used to literally go every single weekend before Covid. I've been playing it safe in these uncertain times. But with Marvel moving forward with the next new member of the MCU in their upcoming film, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, I think it’s time to break out the hazmat suit. That’s because I’m heading back to the movie theater, baby!

And here’s the thing. I don’t know if Shang-Chi is the best MCU project to get people back into the theaters. Now, granted, I want to see it, but I also love martial arts movies, and I’m a big fan of Awkwafina. But for Marvel to decide to forego putting it on Disney+’s Premier Access as a sort of “interesting experiment”? Well, that’s actually a pretty risky venture for a brand-new property, if you ask me. That said, I have five reasons why I will still be seeing Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings in the theaters...

Simu Liu with the power!

Shang-Chi Feels Essential To Marvel’s Future

I saw Black Widow at home from the comfort of my couch and I am not sorry. That’s because Black Widow did not feel like essential viewing for the future of the MCU. Now, granted, I thought it was fine. I even watched it twice (I mean, I bought it, right?). Still, timeline-wise, Black Widow took place before the events of Avengers: Endgame, and her character (spoiler alert for one of the biggest movies of all time) dies in that flick. So, in essence, Black Widow kind of felt like a side story rather than an essential part of the MCU.

Shang-Chi, however, is like the true leap forward for the MCU. We’re getting a brand-new character, brand new villains, and even brand-new weaponry (I think) with the ten rings, and a TRUE Mandarin this time. None of that Trevor nonsense from Iron Man 3 (Sorry to all the Iron Man 3 fans out there, by the way). And as a Marvel fanboy who has been religiously following the MCU since the very first Iron Man, this is all super exciting to me and I CANNOT WAIT to get my next taste of the MCU in the cinema.

Benedict Wong

Every Review I've Read So Far Tells Me That There's A Great Deal That The Trailers Aren't Showing

I don’t review new movies here at this website, which makes sense since I usually spend my time watching ancient musicals, or re-watching old action flicks like Sylvester Stallone’s Judge Dredd. So, I honestly have no idea what’s going to happen in Shang-Chi like most of the readers of this article. Your guess is as good as mine.

But I have read and watched a lot of reviews, and one thing I hear a lot is that there is a bunch of stuff that the trailers aren’t showing us. This makes me feel like I have to see it when it comes out, since I honestly have no idea what this movie is really about, and I feel like I need to. The trailers have shown both traditional martial arts and also a very stylized fantasy element. I’m also wondering if Fin Fang Foom is in the movie or what the heck Wong and Abomination are doing back here, which brings me to my next point.

Shang-Chi, warning me not to wait 45 days

I Can't Wait 45 Days For It To Come To Streaming

Right now, it’s not really clear where Shang-Chi will end up on streaming after 45 days upon its release. Most likely, it will be on Disney+, but will it be Premier Access? Will it be included with a subscription? I don’t know. But here’s what I do know for certain. If I don’t see it opening weekend, the whole movie will be spoiled for me. You know what I’m talking about. I won’t even be able to go on YouTube since someone will end up using a revealing thumbnail, and I won’t be able to avoid looking at it.

Honestly, this is the only reason why I’ve seen every Marvel movie on opening weekend. People simply cannot keep their traps shut. And if I were to wait even a week, I’m sure I would know half the movie, as well as all of the twists and turns. The MCU has made FOMO a legit fear, and I can’t just stop using the internet so I don’t get spoiled. That’s why I have to see Shang-Chi on its opening weekend. The hell with waiting 45 days. No way!

The crew

I Know People Who Are Going To See It, So I Don't Want To Be Left Out Of The Conversation

Now, I just talked about broad scope, macro fandom, but what about on a micro level? What I mean is, the internet is one thing, but what if I actually have friends who are going to be seeing it? Now, I personally know several people who have gone back to the theater to see flicks like F9 or Snake Eyes, and it didn’t really bother me when they’d talk about those films because they don’t really impact me in any way. I could take those films or leave them. But not only would I have to avoid the internet if I don’t see Shang-Chi on opening weekend. I’d have to avoid my friends as well.

The reason being because I have friends who will be going to the theater to see Shang-Chi. I don’t want to be that guy who covers his ears and go, fa-la-la-la, I haven’t seen it yet, please don’t spoil it for me, since nobody likes that guy. Look, I’ve seen all of the Marvel movies in order and I’ve always been a part of that conversation when it comes to my friends. I don’t want Shang-Chi to be the first Marvel movie where I can’t even talk to them for awhile until I see the movie. Because that’s just not cool.

Striking a pose

I Want To Support A Movie With A Mostly Asian Cast With My Wallet

Lastly, and maybe most importantly, but I want to support a movie with a mostly Asian cast with my wallet. I really, really, really wanted Shang-Chi to be the Asian community’s Black Panther, and by that, I mean an American film with a fully diverse cast that celebrates a diverse culture and wins at the box office. But because of stupid Covid, I doubt that will happen. Even so, I can still do my best to let Disney know that yes, I want more diverse movies, so give me as many as possible.

And I don’t think renting it on Premier Access could really send that message, not that I could anyway. By going out to the theater and contributing to the domestic box office, I think it will send an even more resounding sign that there is definitely an audience for a movie like Shang-Chi, and I, like millions of others, want to see more of this cast and crew. Like, a lot more.

And those are five reasons why I would brave A GLOBAL PANDEMIC just to see a movie. But it’s a Marvel movie, so that’s different, you know? But what about you? Do you plan on seeing Shang-Chi in the theaters? Let us know in the poll below. And for info on upcoming Marvel movies, upcoming Marvel TV shows, or just the best Marvel movies in general, make sure to stop by often.

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Rich Knight
Content Producer

Rich is a Jersey boy, through and through. He graduated from Rutgers University (Go, R.U.!), and thinks the Garden State is the best state in the country. That said, he’ll take Chicago Deep Dish pizza over a New York slice any day of the week. Don’t hate. When he’s not watching his two kids, he’s usually working on a novel, watching vintage movies, or reading some obscure book.