Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Movie Review: Wolf Warrior

Part military action film, part government propaganda, Wolf Warrior shows what blockbuster films from China have become as they expand their film viewing audience. The story is about Leng Feng (Jing Wu), a skilled sharpshooter who uses his sniper skills to take down drug lords. He disobeys orders to kill the brother of a ruthless drug lord Min Deng (Dahong Ni). Despite his disregard for authority, he is invited to join the elite Wolf company. Min Deng swears vengeance on Leng Feng and escapes arrest with the help of his group of mercenaries lead by Tomcat (Scott Adkins). The wolves go on training with a large military activity that includes cyber warfare and advanced weapons showing off the might of the Chinese military as well as their intelligence with computer hacking.

Coordinated by Long Xiayun (Nan Yu), the wolves are able to outshine their competitors and win the first practice fight. The drill becomes dangerous when an actual pack of wolves attacks the soldiers at night and they have to fight them off with live bullets and bayonets. On the next day, the drug lord's mercenaries strike and kill one of the wolves leaders who had a daughter. The mercenaries escape but not before showing off their advanced weapons that can take down a helicopter.  The wolves get very patriotic as they load up from a weapons drop and head out to fight the mercenaries. They are ambushed and suffer more losses.

The wolves rally to flank the mercenaries and Leng Feng takes a dangerous route as he dodges weapons fire from the assassins. Feng reflects back on a time when he nearly died and saves his commander instead of killing him out of mercy. The soldiers take down the mercenaries with Leng Feng sneaking up on one sniper and shooting him in the head. Tomcat leaves behind a trail of explosives as his men are steadily eliminated. All the while Long Xiayun helps them evade attacks. She also discovers that Min Deng has developed a genetic weapon that would kill the Chinese people only and increase birth defects.

Leng Feng has to escape the explosion of a mine that he steps on but this allows Tomcat to get further ahead. Leng Feng constantly hit on Long Xiayun even after he has nearly died. Tomcat tries to make it to the border but Leng Feng chases him down. A gun battle between the mercenary and the soldier leads to a knife fight after they run out of bullets. Min Deng has disguised himself as a soldier to sneak across the border, I guess into North Korea. Leng Feng defeats Tomcat by cutting his own throat but stabbing the blade into Tomcat's throat. He stops Min Deng from escaping by charging at him with a bayonet. They avoid an international incident and Leng Feng stop the drug lord. He manages to hit on Long Xiayun one last time.

The film reminds me of some of out silly propaganda that we put out, most notably the films of Michael Bay or any other where we show off our military might. There is a subtle message of peace but also there is an inherent threat of not being attacked. The wolves attach patches that say "I fight for China", but inexplicably these are in English. The bloopers add a sense of humor that isn't present through most of the film. The industry in China looks like it has a way to go before it catches up with our biggest blockbusters but the success of the sequel should lead to more like it. It is interesting to see another perspective of these films and will help me judge some of the ridiculous films the United States puts out a little better. 

No comments:

Post a Comment