‘Wolf Warrior II’: a patriotic saga

By Alok Joshi Source:Global Times Published: 2017/9/21 20:18:39

Illustration: Xia Qing/GT

I am not a great fan of Chinese movies, but I have seen a few of them. Recently, everyone around me in Beijing seemed to be raving about Wolf Warrior II (2017).

I was curious to know what all the hype was about and why it became the biggest film in Chinese box office history.

Luckily, I got invited to watch it.

I went to the movie with no expectations, neither did I know who Wu Jing was. The only Chinese action heroes I knew up to that point were Jackie Chan and Jet Li.

For me, the added interest was the fact that the movie was shot on the African continent, where I had worked for over three years before coming to China.

From start to finish, the movie kept me mesmerized with its action-packed, thrilling drama that unfolds fantastically.

Like Sylvester Stallone and John Wayne, the leading actor and film director Wu Jing successfully exploited the crowd-pleasing potential of technically flawless military action-adventure heroics with a heavy dose of flag-waving patriotism.

Wu plays a former Chinese special forces operative, an impulsive sniper named Leng Feng, who finds himself in the middle of an African revolution in this sequel to the 2015 hit.

After being dismissed and imprisoned for an assault committed in a fellow soldier's honor, the forlorn Leng brings his skills to Africa to track down the terrorists liable for the presumed death of his lover.

Loved by the locals, Feng volunteers to get involved when civil war wrecks the country and a group of bloodthirsty mercenaries invades. He fights to protect not only the local Chinese community but also the helpless African people.

Even without subtitles, any foreigner can understand this movie because it is a nonstop action movie.

Martial arts combat, gun battles, car chases, and a tank battle, there is pretty much everything you can ask for in this action film.

The beauty is that Wu fits the role with his awesome physicality and charisma. He just can't help being the right man in the wrong place at the right time.

The timing of the movie was also very right. The Chinese audience has been waiting some time for a good movie.

It's opening week also coincided with the 90th birthday of the Chinese People's Liberation Army on August 1.

The film touched the spirit of patriotism in the heart of every Chinese viewer. The audience clapped as the hero echoed the famous words, "Once a wolf warrior, always a wolf warrior." For once they were glued to the movie instead of their phones.

I also watched as the audience gave a standing ovation when Wu Jing waved the Chinese flag through the war-torn African village to board the naval rescue ship.

There is no reason Chinese viewers should not love this film. As an expat, I loved watching it as well.

This article was published on the Global Times Metropolitan section Two Cents page, a space for reader submissions, including opinion, humor and satire. The ideas expressed are those of the author alone, and do not represent the position of the Global Times.


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