(TFC) – The Chinese Rambo is what some are calling the mega blockbuster action flick that this week became China’s highest-grossing domestic movie of all time. Written, directed, and starring Wu Jing, Wolf Warriors 2 depicts the country’s soldiers saving war-ravaged Africans from Western, presumably American, war profiteers. The wildly popular Wolf Warriors 2 boasts the ominous tagline “whoever offends China will be hunted down no matter how far away they are“. As of this morning, hundreds of millions of Chinese cinema-goers have received this message.The movie takes place in an unnamed African country, where an elite Chinese soldier ventures into a war zone to save trapped Chinese workers. It’s loosely based on several true stories involving military evacuations of Chinese workers from Libya in 2011 and from Yemen in 2015.
Despite being called overly-jingoistic and reliant on CGI, Wolf Warriors 2 is a superior sequel, a rare occurrence in the film industry. Many moviegoers said that they were touched by the movie’s patriotic plot. The film revolves around a covert rescue mission when western backed rebels overrun a town in an unnamed African war zone Leng Feng, a Chinese special forces soldier played by Wu Jing, is sent in to save Chinese businessmen and liberate locals held by Western mercenaries.
The movie, which is entirely privately funded, has also been lauded for its attention to detail and reportedly features close replicas of many of the latest weapons and artillery used by the Chinese army. But timing has also contributed to its success, with the Chinese nation in the throes of a new wave of patriotism.
The film premiered just ahead of the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese army, a hugely symbolic event for the country.Over the weekend, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) held a grand military parade which presented the latest in China’s arsenal of weapons.
Last week, WW2 had already surpassed The Fate Of The Furious to become the No. 1 movie in China this year. It had also bested the No. 2 Chinese movie ever, Monster Hunt, which grossed about $382M in 2015. On Tuesday Wolf Warrior 2 soared past “The Mermaid”, a China-Hong Kong fantasy comedy released last to become China’s all-time top box-office earner.
Speaking to China.org, WW2 producer Zhang Miao of Beijing Culture Media Company offered his thoughts on why the movie has struck a chord at home. “The film’s success is mainly down to the complete devotion of the team led by director Wu Jing, but we think this is also a triumph of the communist revolutionary gene in the film, a triumph of the Chinese dream for building a strong nation, and a triumph of the current spirit of the time.”
Much has been made of the closing scene, not to leave things just to symbolism. At the end, Wolf Warriors 2 gets its message through with crude imperialist fervor. A Chinese passport appears with a direct message for those who may still not have decoded the raw symbolism. It says, “Citizens of the People’s Republic of China. When you encounter danger in a foreign land, do not give up! Please remember, at your back stands a strong motherland.”