Chinese military blockbuster, Wolf Warrior 2 released one day ahead of the 90th anniversary of PLA (People’s Liberation Army) has taken the domestic and global box office by storm, raking in £215 million so far on the mainland alone. Internationally, it was also a top film, grabbing a whopping £162 million in ticket sales, £80 million ahead of second-place new release Dunkirk, which took in £82.3 million globally.
Wolf Warrior 2 has received positive reviews on both Chinese and Western film rating sites. It has been rated 7.5 out of 10 on Chinese Douban and 7.4 out of 10 on IMDb, and 88% percent of viewers have “liked” it on Rotten Tomatoes. The patriotic film has also become a heated topic on social media, as the hashtag #WolfWarrior2 has been viewed 650 million times and attracted almost 523,000 comments and 14,000 followers.
Wolf Warrior 2 is rated 7.5 out of 10 on Chinese film rating site Douban.
The film declares an entire victory in its box office battle with Chinese propaganda film, The Founding of an Army which was released on the same day. The film featuring dozens of pop stars tells the creation and early days of People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
Despite getting nearly twice as many screenings as Wolf Warrior (about 69,000 showings compared with 38,000 respectively), the propaganda film only made a gross profit of £33 million. As Wolf Warrior continued to widen its gap with the later, Chinese cinema managers began to disregard official instructions from media regulators to give the propaganda film more screenings.
The Founding of an Army is the latest one of the propaganda film trilogy in recent years. The other two are The Founding of a Republic released in 2009 and the Founding of a Party in 2011. None of the films allows Internet users to rate or comment on Douban, after The Founding of a Republic once was rated a pathetic 2.9 out of 10 on the website.
Wolf Warrior 2, a departure from traditional patriotic film, has an international and world-leading cast that includes “Captain America” directors Joe and Anthony Russo and foreign actors from American Frank Grillo as the villain and Hong Kong-American Celina Jade as the female lead.
Wu Jing, a martial artist who starred in, directed and co-wrote the film plays Leng Feng, a Special Forces operative who finds himself in the middle of an African revolution. When the unnamed African country is wracked by civil war and invaded by European mercenaries, he doesn’t hesitate at once to get involved and rescue Chinese nationals caught up in a local Chinese-funded factory.
Many viewers regard the blockbuster as an outstanding action film featuring hand-to-hand combat, gun battles, car chases and even a hot-blooded tank battle. The brutal fight between Wu Jing and Frank Grillo creates the climax.
Some of the scenes in the film were based on true stories in 2015, when China’s navy evacuated almost 600 Chinese citizens and 225 foreign nationals from port of Aden in southern Yemen.
Report on the evacuation of Chinese citizens from Yemen in 2015.
The patriotic film has ignited huge enthusiasm among Chinese people and hardcore military fans. Many cinema-goers said they were proud of their motherland when seeing at the end of the film the cover of a Chinese passport accompanied by a short message: “The citizens of the Republic of China, if you encounter danger abroad, don’t give up! Please remember that at your back stands a powerful motherland!” The message also resonates among Chinese citizens living abroad.
One line from the film lingers in my mind: Whoever offending the Chinese people will be punished, no matter how far away he is!
The most touching thing was that one viewer started to sing Chinese anthem by the end of the film, then everyone joined him. It was the first that I heard national anthem in the cinema.
Watch the film and you’ll know how lucky it is that you are to be a Chinese.
It’s the best film of the year, both eye-catching and educational.
I feel so proud that we have peace in China!
I was moved into tears. The Chinese army will always be where citizens need help. I was greatly touched when I saw the message on the cover of Chinese passport. If you have a hard time abroad, don’t forget you have a powerful motherland. I have no regret being a Chinese.
I stood up and saluted by the end of the film. I’m a retired soldier and was moved into tears when I saw the national flag.
Thanks to ever-increasing international influence and military strength, Chinese authorities have stepped up their effort to better protect and rescue 60 million overseas Chinese if they are strapped in danger. In 2015, China rescued more than 600 Chinese citizens from Yemen, 5,600 Chinese nationals from Nepal after a massive earthquake broke out. It also rescued 20 Chinese overseas held as hostages that year.