Keyi Cui

When I first watched the trailer for “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” I remember being excited, but also the slightest bit afraid.

Sure, Shang-Chi is Chinese, but how Chinese can a Marvel movie really get?

It’s cheesy to say that I felt proud after walking out of the theater, but I did.

Besides the flex that I could understand the Mandarin spoken in the film without looking at the subtitles, it was also a shock to see a family so fundamentally similar to my own. I have an older brother, with two parents who love us and each other very much. Assassin storylines and action scenes aside, I think some of my favorite parts of “Shang-Chi” are the relatability of the family dynamic and the depth of the sibling relationship.

When it really comes down to it, the “fiction” in this film lies mainly in the magic forest and the family of assassins. While I obviously can’t sit here and tell you that I was the same as Shang-Chi when I was growing up, I can tell you that if you take away the fiction, there is a normal Chinese-American family, an older brother and younger sister, and there is a weight on all of their shoulders.

I won’t say that Shang-Chi is perfect, and I don’t think it even could be — even the subtitles were wrong at times. But I’ve watched in theaters most of the Marvel films I’ve been alive for — not only have I watched them, I’ve been a huge fan of them ever since I was a little kid.

There was something remarkable about sitting in that theater seat, staring up at the screen and the logo that I’ve seen countless times before and then watching an Asian superhero and hearing the language that I speak at home. It brought up feelings in me that I never thought I would feel after seeing a Marvel movie.

My brother and I don’t know any assassination techniques — that would be concerning. We’ve never driven through a forest that tried to kill us — equally concerning. But we are about 2,900 miles apart, and after we watched Shang-Chi, the very first people we texted were each other.

“I want to show Mom and Dad,” he’d said, seconds after the film had ended. “I feel like they’d enjoy it.”