Tale of special forces in African war zone has ridden a wave of patriotic fervor with its stunts, soldiers and western baddies
A flag-waving Chinese action film depicting the country’s soldiers saving war-ravaged Africans from western baddies has become China’s all-time top box-office earner, headlining a summer of patriotic cinematic fare.
The wildly popular Wolf Warriors 2 boasts the ominous tagline “whoever offends China will be hunted down no matter how far away they are”, and millions of Chinese cinema goers have lapped it up since the movie’s release less than two weeks ago.
The blockbuster has raked in more than 3.4bn yuan (£383m) since debuting on 27 July, according to unofficial China box office trackers Maoyan and other industry tallies.
The film tells the story of a former operative with Chinese special forces and his foray into an unnamed African war zone to rescue compatriots and downtrodden local people from rebels and war-mongering western mercenaries.
The privately funded movie, which lasts just over two hours, is riding a wave of patriotic fervour drummed up by the ruling Communist party. It also comes soon after China opened a naval base in Djibouti, a big step in the country’s expanding military presence abroad.
Not all patriotic Chinese films this season have enjoyed such rave reviews. The Founding of an Army, which chronicles the origins of the People’s Liberation Army, has better-known actors but has been panned by critics, moviegoers and even the families of a number of Chinese revolutionary heroes.
Wolf Warriors 2 is directed by Wu Jing, a martial arts expert who also plays the lead role of Leng Feng. It is replete with special effects and explosions and its ending sets the stage for a likely third instalment. The first film had nothing like the success of the sequel.
State media has jumped on the bandwagon, with the Global Times – which often takes a strident nationalist tone – calling the film “a phenomenon”.
Many Chinese moviegoers say its success is due not only to its unmistakeable message about China’s rising military might but also to its quality action sequences, pulse-racing stunts and acting.
Traditionally, Chinese films have relied more on star names and good looks than acting – a criticism levelled at Founding of an Army – and have been weighed down by weak storylines.
Source: The Gurdian