SupremeLemon (김레몬)’s review published on Letterboxd:
It's nice that a movie like Shang-Chi exists so that Asian American children get to see themselves represented on the big screen. My childhood barely had any "decent" Asian American representation so it made me happy when a lot of my students told me they were super excited to go watch it in theaters. Not sure why a lot of non-Asian (white) dudes are trying to tell everyone else that this isn't "progressive" or "good representation." It's almost as obnoxious as those weirdos who say dumb shit like "ackshually I'm a leading expert on wuxia and Asian cinema because I watched every single episode of Attack on Titan. I also dated oRiEnTaL fEmAlEs when I was teaching English in South Korea so I know everything about boba and Hong Kong action movies. Also, FUCK CHINA! haha heehee thanks for the gold, kind stranger!" Most of the discourse on "good representation" should be moderated by minority homies who were represented in the film, but ofc non-Asian (white) people are more than welcome to talk about other stuff because it's pretty fucking obvious that the film caters towards the non-Asian (white) mainstream audience 🙄
Obviously I'm not expecting a masterpiece from a franchise that routinely churns out corporatized refuse, all of which are monstrously vapid with barely any sense for a textural/compositional/dramaturgical manner of filmmaking. And holy shit the self-referential writing and the annoying quips just keep coming and coming. They're so obsessed with the "recognizability" of their brand and products - I don't think anything original or creative will ever come out of the MCU. When will these movies ever shut the fuck up about Iron Man like dude he's fucking dead. I don't need to be reminded of his Elon Musk-inspired-dogecoin-investing-techbro ass. Feige said it best himself: “This is not a Chinese movie. This is not an Asian American movie. This is a Marvel movie.” So of course Marvel is going to take anything from Chinese (Asian) culture/aesthetics and pervert them into a twisted proprietorship. Doesn't help that it's built into the soulless CIA/military/capitalist propaganda machine that is the American film industry, which is already an extension of mainstream media's efforts to manufacture consent for mobilizing and allocating resources to sustain military conflict i.e. the recent efforts made by the West to do everything it can to demonize China bc they really, really want to justify killing those "Inscrutable Orientals" like wtf... these idiots are quick to accuse anything "Chinese" as "Chinese propaganda" yet they never consider the fact that post-9/11 American cinema incites violence towards anyone that doesn't look American? 🙄🙄
Apparently Marvel made a list of racist stereotypes that they wanted to "destroy" in Shang-Chi, but like the only kind of Asian American obstacle they're willing to bring up and try to "destroy" is Shang-Chi being made fun of as a kid because his non-Asian classmates were calling him "Gangnam Style" or some shit? And of course Shang-Chi's response is "I'm not even Korean" like come the fuck on my dude... Asianness as an experience is reduced to something like that? Like that's the furthest they go when it comes to moderating discourse on the manner in which Asians/Asian Americans have been ostracized, dehumanized, exploited, emasculated, fetishized, or even brutalized by the Western hegemony? Ofc the one thing they'll bring up again is a story with themes related to family and tradition vs. modernity or whatever iteration like when will Asian diaspora stories move beyond these tired and recycled narratives? I wanna see Asians thriving and having fun, not any of these narrative detours of "boohoo my parents caused the main conflict of this film" like I don't want any of this sadboi Joji shit in something that's supposed to be "good representation" 🙄🙄🙄
Think it's important for Asian homies to realize that we need to move beyond Western (white) approval when it comes to making movies for the sake of "representation." I see Asian people, Asian culture, and Asian aesthetics in Shang-Chi. But we're talking about a "Marvel movie" in which its film industry and its Western (white) "culture" have exploited and profited off of (re)producing caricatures, stereotypes, and harmful images that exoticized and denigrated not just Chinese people but also those of Asian descent. It's still happening to this day like come the fuck on I just saw a dude at the gym wearing a shirt with a Rising Sun Flag like lmfao wtf is this????? "Asianness" and Asian aesthetics in Shang-Chi are really being used in a manner that reinscribes and maintains the (white) capitalist status quo. It's really just a commodification of "Asian cultures" for a non-Asian (white) mainstream audience where the majority of the profits go to non-Asian (white) executives. A lot of these annoying dudes are still gonna end up harassing or even assaulting/murdering Asians but come back home to watch Naruto or some shit (they probably have anime pfp's or some Asian words in their usernames - ofc it's usually Japanese). I know a lot of Asian fuccbois aren't gonna care at all because they think this is the most important thing that ever happened to Asians, but like the furthest they'll go with their "political activism" is send thirst traps on TikTok with captions saying shit like #StopAsianHate but make it seggsy 🥴🥴🥴" or "#StopAsianHate dont assault our elders pick on me instead 😠😤🤬" like my dudes what the absolute fuck are you doing? 🙄🙄🙄🙄
Also what the fuck was up with the post-credit scene? Are they seriously going to turn her into an Asian Baby Girlboss like what the absolute fuck is this??? I'm so tired of this dumb shit..........