WolfWarriorsII fights through odds to promote Chinese values
It may be an action movie but it puts a rising China in the spotlight. It is also the first movie that has tasted success both in terms of earnings and promoting patriotism. And it is a rare effort in which the protagonist tries to win the audience’s hearts by shedding sweat and blood rather than flaunting his good looks.
The film is Wolf Warriors II, directed by and starring Chinese martial artist Wu Jing. The film had earned nearly 3.4 billion yuan ($505.75 million) by Monday and set a record for domestic movies at the box office.
The film revolves around a rescue operation in Africa led by a former People’s Liberation Army SWAT soldier Leng Feng (played by Wu Jing). Leng helps Chinese businessmen, workers and African locals to flee a war-torn and plague-ravaged country. Moviegoers have been touched by the film despite the controversy over individual heroism because the plot focuses on patriotism.
Wolf Warriors II, in spite of the some loopholes in storytelling, links art to reality, and reminds people of the massive evacuation of Chinese people from Libya when civil war broke out in that country in 2011, and from Yemen in 2015, as well as the challenges the Ebola virus created in West Africa from 2013 to 2016. It also vividly reflects the booming economic and people-to-people exchanges between China and Africa.
On a different level, the film raises questions about the risks countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative face, while providing the answer to how the Chinese government aims to protect the safety of overseas Chinese. The movie also gives a shot in the arm to the PLA Navy and its fleet, especially since it was released on the eve of the 90th anniversary of the founding of the PLA.
It’s time Chinese filmmakers ... produced films that tell good stories and project the right spirit.