Friday, August 11, 2017

Wolf Warrior

Since Wolf Warrior II is in theaters now, and is crushing at the Chinese box office, I thought I would first check out the original (which also crushed). Chinese special forces sniper Leng Feng is disciplined after an operation where he disobeys orders, but ultimately gets the bad guy. In military prison, he is unrepentant for his decision, and as a result is offered a place on the Wolf squadron. This is the special forces group that is used in military training games to act as the enemy. In some ways, this squad gets no respect (they never actually fight), but in other ways they take pride in not losing to the "real army". In the middle of one training exercise, Leng Feng finds himself and a small group of comrades attacked by foreign mercenaries (B-movie acting level American soldiers) with live fire. Leng Feng's history is coming back to haunt him and the honor of the entire Chinese army is at stake. This is a pretty good movie, and I would say that it fits pretty well into my preconceived notion of what state approved propaganda should look like from the Chinese perspective. Maybe this is just me reading in, but there is a definite nationalist point of view here. I wonder if it is any different when a Chinese audience watches Jason Bourne, or Independence Day.
3 stars (out of 5)

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