ARTS / FILM
‘The Rescue’ brings Chinese bravery to big screens in China
Published: Dec 22, 2020 10:47 PM

Poster of film 'The Rescue'. Photo: Courtesy of Lanzuan Media

After throwing away its original plan to hit big screens in the Chinese mainland on Chinese New Year’s Day back in January, the much-anticipated action adventure film The Rescue finally made its cinema debut on Friday.  

Directed by Dante Lam, the award-winning director best known for his action films, The Rescue tells the story of the members of a heroic maritime emergency response team as they fulfill their duties to save people from severe maritime accidents. 

Featuring popular actor Peng Yuyan (Eddie Peng) and Xin Zhilei, an emerging actress who has been widely praised for her role in the film, The Rescue not only aims to show the bravery and toughness of both the male and female characters, it also weaves touching stories about love, friendship and father-and-son relationships into its narrative.

The movie gave Peng his first taste of being a father figure in film as he plays a responsible single dad who gives love and courage to his son, who is fighting a debilitating disease. 

“I never played the ‘father figure’ before this, so it took me a long time to get a feel for what it feels like to be a father,” Peng told media after a screening event in Beijing on Thursday. 

The journey of making the film was not easy for the actors, not only because it required them to take on new roles that were alien to them, but also due to the physical requirements to make the film, such as tough training, harsh shooting environments and the director’s desire to get every detail right to make the film feel realistic. 

“What impressed me most was this underwater scene with us,” actor Wang Yanlin said while discussing a touching scene in which his character and Peng’s must share a single tank of oxygen between them in the cold waters of Mexico. 

“This underwater scene was one of the most unforgettable scenes for me, whether it was overcoming my fear of shooting in the water or actually performing while under the water.” 

The film, focusing on maritime rescue, follows Lam’s well-received action film Operation Red Sea, a 2018 film about an eight-member team from Chinese Navy's elite special forces that rescue Chinese and foreign nationals from a war zone, and Operation Mekong, a 2016 film also starring Peng that is based on the real events surrounding the 2011 Mekong River Massacre. 

The Rescue earned more than 250 million yuan ($38 million) at the Chinese mainland box office in its first four days of release. 
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