China’s patriotic action romp “Wolf Warrior 2”’ was a massive hit, demolishing franchises like “Fast and Furious” and previous record holder “The Mermaid” at the local box office.
In its first two weeks, the Chinese film, which threatens “whoever offends China will be hunted down no matter how far away they are” in its tagline, has grossed 3.5 billion yuan (about $524 million), making it the highest-earning film ever shown in the country.
Directed, co-written by Chinese martial arts star Wu Jing, the film has been called Chinese Rambo due to its similar themes, special effects, and action sequences.
Wu also plays the leading role of loose cannon special forces soldier Leng Feng, who takes on special missions around the world. Set in an African nation in the middle of a civil war, Leng must rescue his compatriots and locals from the hands of American-led mercenaries.
In an interview with Bloomberg, James Li, co-founder at Beijing-based film consultancy Fanink Research, gave his insight on why the movie is such a massive success.
“War and action — the film filled a gap in China’s box office, which hasn’t seen such a genre film released for quite some time,” Li was quoted as saying. “Demand for quality movies is still growing in China.”
“Wolf Warrior 2” has the trappings of a Hollywood blockbuster with its liberal use of explosions and special effects, albeit with an unabashed patriotic tone.
Financial Times has noted that multiple lines praising China’s foreign policy can be found throughout the film.
Incidentally, the timing of the movie’s release perfectly coincided with the celebrations that marked the 90th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army.
State-run Xinhua News Agency heavily praised the film as it “vividly reflects the rise of China’s overall national strength” and “met Chinese nationals’ need for a superhero of their own.”