Cinema is back! And it’s bringing us Aquaman with martial arts! With no streaming options available, we sent The Editing Room vaccinated, masked, and socially distanced into the theaters to buy a large popcorn with extra horse dewormer topping and watch Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Having done so many times for us in the past, they succeeded in their legendary quest and have returned with a slightly modified script for the film ...

 

FADE IN:

EXT. OBLIGATORY MCU ORIGIN STORY EXPOSITORY PROLOGUE

Soothing Mandarin narration from FALA CHEN accompanies a visual crash course through TONY LEUNG's secret to eternal life — a man can never wear too many gaudy accessories.

 

TONY LEUNG

These ten RINGS needed to be more eye-popping, so now

they're super powerful BRACELETS, even though that makes no

sense with the name.

 

With the help of the bracelets, we see TONY demolish civilization after civilization throughout history and undermine government after government, until one day he realizes he's probably gonna be alone forever unless he smartens up and wifes up.

 

EXT. MAGICAL ANCIENT FOREST — 1996

Having exhausted his spousal options here on Earth, TONY sets his sights on the fairytale realm of TA LO, where he encounters FALA CHEN.

 

FALA CHEN

Halt! We normally greet intruders in a specified clearing

right outside our village, but I'm willing to make an

exception in your handsome case. I shan't let you make your

charismatic way to Ta Lo! Explain yourself!

 

TONY LEUNG

Oh, I'm just your everyday thousand-years-old

gangster/warrior mystical martial arts family man who's run

out of stuff to conquer on Earth.

 

FALA CHEN

Really?! So you've conquered Wakanda, the Quantum Realm,

Kamar-Taj, Madripoor, all the Eternals ...

 

TONY LEUNG

Okay, fine, all the REGULAR stuff on Earth.

 

They FIGHT in CLASSIC WUXIA STYLE, which naturally means they FALL IN LOVE.

 

FALA CHEN

And that, kids, is how I met your father.

 

TONY LEUNG

Oh Fala, we should leave all this behind so we can raise a

regular family together.

 

FALA CHEN

I agree! Before we leave, though, let me quickly fashion two

suits of dragonscale armor perfectly tailored to fit our

future children when they're in their mid-20s and

leave them here with my sister. Y'know, just in case.

 

TONY LEUNG

That's some remarkable foresight for someone who will never

mention how their hometown is 100% dedicated to guarding an

evil portal that lures people with the voices of dead loved

ones. Seems like something I should know.

 

INT. CRAPPY SAN FRANCISCO GARAGE APARTMENT — PRESENT DAY

A shirtless SIMU LIU wakes up and prepares for an honest day's work as a CAR RENTAL AGENT OOPS SORRY PARKING VALET.

 

SIMU LIU

Please appreciate my toned bod — I didn't spend months

training my butt off just to be covered up all the time.

Might as well do some push-ups while I'm at it!

 

At work, SIMU and his totally-platonic best friend, AWKWAFINA, try to get fired by recklessly joyriding through the streets of San Francisco at top speed in a guest's sports car.

 

SIMU LIU

Irresponsible pre-hero conduct established! I can't wait for

Shang-Chi 3 when we learn how the guy we cut off in traffic

became a vengeance-crazed supervillain.

 

INT. A REGULAR BAR

SIMU and AWKWAFINA are out for drinks with their elitist friend STEPHANIE HSU from high school, who criticizes and looks down on them.

 

AWKWAFINA

Why do we hang out with you again?

 

STEPHANIE HSU

(shrugs)

I'm basically the street-level framing device for you guys

to circle back to at the end of this whole thing.

 

SIMU LIU

Sounds good. See ya in two hours!

 

INT. CITY BUS

The next day, SIMU and AWKWAFINA uneventfully ride the bus to work, demonstrating that even superheroes take public transit, JUST LIKE US!

 

MARVEL NERDS WHO WATCHED THE "SHANG-CHI" TRAILER

(hyperventilating)

OMG, it's the bus fight!

 

AWKWAFINA

... So, anyways, that's why I'm a failure to everyone who

knows me. What's new with you, man?

 

SIMU LIU

Cool, um, could we maybe put a pause in this conversation

for a second? I just spotted some skilled assassins sent by

Tony to steal my necklace that I gotta beat up super quick.

 

SIMU, with his yet-unseen KUNG-FU PROWESS, totally demolishes the crew of thugs, also known as the legendary TEN RINGS, his childhood housemates.

 

AWKWAFINA

(gawking in amazement)

Say what? My totally ripped best friend of ten years can

throw a punch? What else are you hiding, my dude?

 

It seems like SIMU has won the fight, but from the back of the bus emerges a one-armed FLORIAN MUNTEANU!

 

FLORIAN MUNTEANU

My totally badass villain alias is Razor Fist, which is only

marginally less stupid than Taser Face.

(pauses to unsheathe his machete arm)

Also, I'm gonna slice you up like an avocado, Simu.

 

THAT ONE LIVESTREAMING DUDE

What's up, everyone? Shit just got real on this bus ride!

Thumbs up if you think we're all gonna make it outta here

alive!

 

SIMU melds his JACKIE CHAN MIMICRY SKILLS with AWKWAFINA'S aforementioned DRIVING SKILLS to defeat FLORIAN and bring the bus to a semi-controlled crash on the sidewalk.

 

PAUL RUDD

(strolling by on his way to drop his daughter off at school)

Hey guys! I miss anything important?

 

SIMU LIU

Shit, they took my pendant! And they'll go after my sister

next! Luckily I have a clue where she is, she sent me a

postcard.

 

AWKWAFINA

What if that's a fake sent by the bad guys, so you lead them

to her?

 

SIMU LIU

But how would the bad guys know where to send the postcard

from, if they need to follow me to figure out—

 

INT. AIRPLANE, ECONOMY SEATING

On the 20-hour plane ride to MACAU, AWKWAFINA endlessly roasts SIMU'S choice of alias, as any good friend would.

 

SIMU LIU

Gimme a break! Even Kevin Feige himself butchered my Chinese

name at Comic-Con, so we gotta take a moment here to really

hammer home the exact pronunciation for all the white folks

watching.

 

INT. MACAU'S COOLER, EDGIER VERSION OF THE SAKAAR ARENA

Aided by that vague postcard from before, SIMU and AWKWAFINA track down the supposed location of SIMU'S sister — an UNDERGROUND FIGHT CLUB in MACAU.

 

AWKWAFINA

Is there gonna be more fighting? I think there's gonna be

more fighting.

(immediately bets against her best friend)

 

Director DESTIN DANIEL CRETTON reaches into the OBLIGATORY MCU CAMEO GRAB BAG and draws BENEDICT WONG and THE ABOMINATION, who fight.

 

SIMU LIU

Wow, that's random even by MCU standards...

 

It's then revealed that SIMU unknowingly signed himself up for the marquee cage fight. Always read the fine print, people!

 

RONNY CHIENG

You must fight! If you win, I'll help you find your sister.

Fail, and you might NEVER find your sister!! And the

fearsome opponent you must defeat is ... YOUR SISTER! Oh wait,

that makes my deal useless my God, I suck at this.

 

MENG'ER ZHANG enters the chat-I-mean-fight.

 

SIMU LIU

We know each other! She's a sister from birth!

 

MENG'ER ZHANG

Yes, it's me. I'm still pissed at you for vanishing for ten

years and leaving me for dead with our neglectful father!

(knees SIMU in the crotch)

 

SIMU LIU

Maybe I got Snapped, and you should only be angry about five

of those years? Yeah, I guess that doesn't help much.

 

MENG'ER ZHANG

(punches SIMU in the throat)

 

SIMU LIU

(wheezing)

...Good one, sis.

 

Just as MENG'ER is about to show mercy on her pathetic loser of a brother, she flashes back to her childhood plagued by patriarchal ideals and younger sibling syndrome.

 

MENG'ER ZHANG

(drop-kicks SIMU into the fence)

I think we're done here.

 

EXT. THE OUTSIDE OF A MASSIVE SKYSCRAPER, NO BIG DEAL

After SIMU fails to placate his rightfully still-pissed sister, the whole situation falls apart even further when TONY'S THUGS arrive to ruin everyone's night out at the (fight) club.

 

MENG'ER ZHANG AND RONNY CHIENG

Peace out, suckers!

(disappear to safety via a secret elevator)

 

SIMU and AWKWAFINA are left stranded! Naturally, SIMU decides to try to escape down the outside of the building because THAT makes sense.

 

AWKWAFINA

Aw, hell no! That scaffolding looks even less reliable than

the elevator we rode on the way up here.

 

SIMU LIU

It's either this or facing the assassins inside, and I know

you can't block a punch if your life depends on it.

 

AWKWAFINA

Wow, way to judge a book by its cover, man. Also, you're

absolutely right. Both options suck.

 

SIMU LIU

It's gonna be fine!

 

AWKWAFINA reluctantly follows him out onto the ledge, only to pretty much immediately be put in mortal danger when TONY'S goons arrive.

 

AWKWAFINA

Help! We're really testing the strength limits of this piece

of bamboo, even by sci-fi standards. I'm about to

faaallllll...

 

SIMU LIU

Don't worry, I got you!

(very much does not 'got her')

 

AWKWAFINA very nearly recreates the 'GWYNETH PALTROW falling from a crane' moment in IRON MAN 3 when she's miraculously saved by MENG'ER!

 

MENG-ER ZHANG

Nope, we're not fridging anyone today. Not on my watch.

 

SILENT NINJA ASSASSIN ANDY LE

(steals MENG'ER's necklace)

 

SIMU witnesses this low-level jewelry heist and takes off after his former sparring buddy!

 

SIMU LIU

Get back here! That shade of green would look atrocious on

you!

 

SIMU and ANDY duke it out back inside the building on a FLAT SURFACE because that scaffolding was getting too risky, even for these KUNG-FU PROS.

 

SIMU LIU

I'm totally about to kill you, Andy, even though up until

now, I've demonstrated what a nice guy and a reluctant

fighter I am.

 

SILENT NINJA ASSASSIN ANDY LE

(thinking, but saying nothing out loud)

Noooo, I can't die, at least not until we reveal my true

identity that will justify my years of having concealed my

face!

 

SOUL-SUCKING DEMON

(offscreen)

Uh yeah, about that...

 

Before SIMU can become an unredeemable murderer, TONY arrives and gives his estranged son a massive bear hug.

 

AWKWAFINA

I do not understand this relationship at all.

 

TONY LEUNG

Shut up everybody, it's time for my big trailer line about

giving Simu ten years to live his life.

 

EXT. TEN RINGS MOUNTAINSIDE FORTRESS

Everyone important to the story is somehow on the same helicopter, and have these people never heard of the contingency plan of flying the dignitaries on separate planes??

 

TONY LEUNG

Please celebrate the homecoming of my only child, Simu!

 

MENG'ER ZHANG

Are you shitting me right now?

 

TONY treats the crew to a traditional Chinese dinner of exposition, with retconning for dessert.

 

SIMU LIU

Nice try, Dad, but I won't join your super-secret boy band.

You're looking at the expert of fraught father-son

relationships and I'm planning on really dragging this one

out.

 

PAUL SUN-HYUNG LEE

(from the set of "KIM'S CONVENIENCE")

Tell me about it!

 

TONY LEUNG

Fine, allow me to guilt trip you children into doing my

bidding again by playing the "your dead mom's being held

prisoner back in her old village" card. Her disembodied

voice comes to me at random times, and none of the

supernatural shit I've seen in my thousand years of life can

explain it.

 

TONY puts the two pendants in a dragon sculpture, and it creates a MAGICAL WATER MAZE MAP showing the route to the magic village for TEN WHOLE SECONDS!

 

TONY LEUNG

Thanks to my instantaneous photographic memory, I now know

exactly how to find the village and exactly when the path

will appear. Guards! Could a handful of you please escort my

near-unstoppable-juggernaut children to the dungeon, please?

 

INT. BASEMENT DUNGEON

Stuck in time-out in the basement, the defiant trio encounters none other than BEN KINGSLEY!

 

BEN KINGSLEY

Allo, it's me, luvs! This is totally the biggest reveal ever,

even though people definitely saw me at the world premiere

two weeks ago.

(shrugs)

I've been sent to sincerely apologize for the MCU having TWO

Iron Man movies where the Mandarin turned out to be a cover

story for a white dude, AND for the Mandarin character ever

even existing in the first place.

 

SIMU, MENG'ER, and AWKWAFINA stare at him blankly.

 

BEN KINGSLEY

Look, this story's at risk of grinding to a halt unless you

guys find a way to beat your dad to your dead mom's magical

village. Fortunately, that's where

merchandising-I-mean-Morris comes in handy!

 

BEN unveils a CUDDLY CGI WINGED BLOB.

 

CUDDLY CGI WINGED BLOB

(Supplies limited! Order now!)

 

SIMU LIU

Oh, so we're really doing this whole ancient Chinese lore

thing, huh? Bye-bye, grounded superhero origin story.

 

BEN KINGSLEY

Morris here says that even though the magic forest only

allows access to Ta Lo at highly specific times. In fact, you

can get there whenever you want, and he'll guide us there so

he can reunite with other CCWBs.

 

SIMU LIU

Wow, good thing my dad isn't into pets, or he'd have reached

the portal and doomed the Earth years ago.

 

MENG'ER ZHANG

Right, we should escape! Luckily Tony's fortress is built on

a foundation of cottage cheese so

(rips walls apart)

 

They grab FLORIAN'S fancy tricked-out BMW and ESCAPE!

EXT. JURASSIC PARK

After conquering the moving forest maze, SIMU and AWKWAFINA and MENG'ER and BEN drive through a mythical field filled with fire birds and multi-tailed foxes and dragon horses, oh my!

 

AWKWAFINA

Sick, are we gonna use all these creatures to our advantage

in the impending final battle to save the universe?

 

SIMU LIU

Nah, a giant guardian lion thing will gruesomely devour one

soul-sucker later on, but THAT'S IT. We're really trying to

avoid another Black Panther war rhino situation.

 

The motley crew encounters a wall of villagers, including MICHELLE YEOH.

 

MICHELLE YEOH

(appearing)

Hello! I'm, ah, your aunt who's never been mentioned before,

but if you think you're making a giant wuxia epic without

Michelle Yeoh, then screw you.

 

AWKWAFINA

Wow, Michelle Yeoh being a warm and welcoming matriarch

in a predominantly Asian Hollywood summer blockbuster? Why

does that feel so unnatural?

 

EXT. TRANQUIL TRAINING MONTAGE

Despite knowing exactly when TONY and his GOONS are scheduled to arrive, our heroes nobly choose NOT to use this knowledge to set traps or anything but prepare in a more generic, training-montagey way.

 

AWKWAFINA

Is it too on-the-nose if we blast some "Eye of the Tiger"

right about now?

 

SIMU LIU

Um, yes, this isn't the Captain Marvel soundtrack.

 

AWKWAFINA

So I've been getting by on my driving skills, but I'm

thinking that's gonna be one billion percent useless in the

final battle, anyone help a girl out?

 

MICHELLE YEOH

Eh, we don't have an archer in the main group yet; why not

do that?

 

HAILEE STEINFELD

(from the set of "HAWKEYE")

Hey now, don't muscle in on my turf!

 

MICHELLE makes sure everyone has a full kit of WORLD-BUILDING BACKSTORY.

 

MICHELLE YEOH

Simu, in this dimension, we dedicate ourselves to guarding

your dimension from a third, super evil dimension, but not

the Dark Dimension. Behind that evil portal are soul-sucking

demon-like creatures led by-

 

SIMU LIU

Ooh ooh is it Mephisto?! Is this how we get Mephisto?!??

 

MICHELLE YEOH

HOLY SHIT, PEOPLE. ENOUGH ABOUT MEPHISTO ALREADY. HE WASN'T IN

WANDAVISION OR LOKI, AND HE'S NOT HERE EITHER, GIVE IT A

GODDAMN REST.

 

EXT. SIMU'S MEMORIES

The final battle is just around the corner, so naturally, SIMU takes a moment to reflect on his murderous upbringing, and that time he watched his Mom get beaten to a pulp ... Just to, you know, get in the right headspace and all that.

 

FLASHBACK TONY LEUNG

We must avenge your mother, Young Simu! And to help round

out our stylistic tour of Asian action cinema, I feel we

should do so in a vaguely John Woo fashion! Now let's

destroy these hard-boiled criminals!

 

TONY crushes the GOONS and then returns to running the TEN RINGS MARTIAL ARTS CRIMINAL SYNDICATE who were presumably just sitting around on their ass the past seven years waiting for TONY to return to his life of crime.

 

EXT. BIG FINAL THIRD-ACT CGI BATTLE — YAY?

TONY & CO. arrive in TA LO and considerately park their caravan of heavy-duty vehicles next to the village, rather than just plowing through everybody.

 

TONY LEUNG

Let's get this thing started, children.

 

SIMU LIU

I know the toy leaks already spoiled it, but please take a

moment to admire my glittery armor ... and my Air Jordans,

which totally complete the look.

 

Everyone strikes a pose and is prepared to FIGHT! It's all for show, though, since it takes approximately two seconds for TONY to blow past the entire battalion and start turbo-punching the magical gate.

 

MICHELLE YEOH

Save us Simu, you're our only hope!

 

SIMU, who'd spent most of the battle so far napping underwater with his dragon Patronus, is suddenly AWAKENED!

 

SIMU LIU

Ta-da! Here's a taste of the live-action How to Train Your

Dragon adaptation that fans have probably been clamoring

for!

 

SIMU and his DRAGON start devouring all the baby SOUL-SUCKERS, but it's okay because they're EVIL babies!

 

SIMU LIU

Aw crap, I should probably be dealing with Tony right now. I

can leave these baby demons for everyone else to take care

of, right?

 

Without waiting for an answer, SIMU jumps off his dragon to CONFRONT HIS FATHER.

 

SIMU LIU

I see your ten blue rings, and I raise you ... five yellow

ones!

 

TONY LEUNG

... You just stole five of mine, dipshit.

 

SIMU LIU

(harnessing the shit out of his chi)

Ah, but did you know that I'm the perfect blend of you and

Mom?

 

TONY LEUNG

... Yes, that's how genetics work.

 

SIMU and TONY pose with their respective GLOWING RINGS long enough to provide a dope visual to use in all the promo art.

 

SIMU LIU

You can take your stupid rings back, Dad. I never wanted

them!

 

TONY LEUNG

Well, why didn't you just say so, son? My only goal in life

was to brutally train you to keep you safe because I love

you so much.

(pauses)

Well, that and conquer everything that's ever existed. A

thousand years is a long time, okay?

 

THE MEGA SOUL-SUCKER swoops in to disrupt the potential family reconciliation moment and SNATCHES TONY!

 

TONY LEUNG

(seconds away from getting his soul sucked out)

Yes, my villain death will be both completely bloodless and

the most emotionally impactful part of the story. I'm just

that good.

(dies elegantly)

 

SIMU LIU

I feel like I should be sad right now.

 

MENG'ER ZHANG

No time, there are dragons to fight!

 

SIMU LIU

You mean the battle's not over??

 

MEGA SOUL-SUCKER

It's over when I SAY it's over, got it?

 

Get ready for a BATTLE ROYALE DRAGON-STYLE SMACKDOWN! SIMU and MENG'ER ride around on their water-bending dragon for a while until SIMU is forced to choose between saving his SISTER and saving the UNIVERSE.

 

MENG'ER ZHANG

So I'm just an imitation of Evangeline with my harsh bob and

now also Scarlett with the "Let me go so that I can plunge

to my noble death" thing?

(flatly)

How original.

 

Thankfully, Marvel has learned from their past mistakes, and MENG'ER survives!

 

SIMU LIU

Let's work together, sis! It'll be just like old times!

 

MENG'ER ZHANG

Oh, so you're gonna overshadow me again?

 

SIMU LIU

Oh, um, well, my name IS in the title ...

 

MENG'ER ZHANG

Ugh, whatever, go have your big hero moment. See if I care.

 

SIMU heroically defeats the MEGA SOUL-SUCKER by shooting the RINGS down its throat and giving it a SNEAK HEART ATTACK that makes it EXPLODE!! Our heroes WIN!!

 

AWKWAFINA

I guess we should probably mourn the fallen or something

now, hey? I dunno how these things work; this was my first

battle.

 

INT. A NORMAL BAR

SIMU and AWKWAFINA are back to living their normal mundane lives, and once again having drinks with their snarky friend STEPHANIE HSU.

 

AWKAFINA

... And that's how I mastered archery faster than Chris Evans

figured out how to fight Josh with that magic hammer.

 

Suddenly, a glowing orange PORTAL appears in the BAR, but it's only BENEDICT WONG who walks through, NOT an ENTIRE FREAKIN' ARMY BECAUSE WE CAN'T ALL BE "ENDGAME", OKAY? CALM THE HELL DOWN.

 

BENEDICT WONG

Simu Liu! You've got to come with me into the full MCU

continuity!!

 

SIMU LIU

No, no, no, I just got here, Awkwafina is here, and we're

gonna take my new rings for a spin.

 

BENEDICT WONG

Well, bring her along; she's got high enough billing.

 

AWKWAFINA

You're going to mind zap me to sleep the instant I walk

through that portal, aren't you?

 

EXT. MID-CREDITS SCENE

Director DESTIN DANIEL CRETTON once again reaches into the OBLIGATORY MCU CAMEO GRAB BAG, and this time draws holographic BRIE LARSON and MARK RUFFALO, who SPECULATE.

 

BENEDICT WONG

Simu, it looks like these Ten Rings are incredibly old,

vastly powerful artifacts. Thank you SO MUCH for finding

them all together and not one-by-one over 12 freakin'

years.

 

MARK RUFFALO

And there's some kind of beacon leading to an unspecified

future project; what are the odds?! Looks like I'm human

again, by the way; we sure love skipping right over Hulk

character development between movies.

 

BRIE LARSON

As usual, I'm busy dealing with high-powered intergalactic

shit, so that I can't just solve your problem instantly. Good

luck, though!

 

SIMU LIU

I guess I might've maybe evolved as a person after all that

universe-saving shit last week, but don't worry, I'll still

always be the loveable and relatable slacker!

(sings karaoke off-key with BENEDICT and AWKWAFINA until the

"ETERNALS" premiere)

 

EXT. POST-CREDITS SCENE

Remember when the after-credits footage used to just be a cute little jokey bit, like when an alien cat vomited up the Phase 1 MacGuffin on SAMUEL L. MOTHERF**KING JACKSON's desk? Neither do we! Bring on the scenes with ramifications!

 

MENG'ER ZHANG

Mwah ha ha, I run the Ten Rings now. Even though I don't

actually have the Ten Rings. But perhaps someday, the Ten

Rings will cross paths with ... the Ten Rings.

(pause)

We might need a new name.

 

END

Top Image: Marvel Studios

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