Under the Radar

'Wolf Warrior 2' & the Rise of China

"Wolf Warrior 2" (out now on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital) is the highest-grossing film of all time in China and one of the very best military movies of 2017. It's also a unapologetically jingoistic celebration of Chinese military power that plays like those unapologetically jingoistic American action pictures of the '80s. Imagine a Rambo movie directed by John Woo and you start to get an idea of what writer/director/star Wu Jing is doing.

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We've got a clip from the home video bonus features in which action director and stunt coordinator Sam Hargrave talks about filming the action with Wu Jing. 

Hargrave has been Chris Evans stunt double on almost every Captain America movie and did double duty on "Atomic Blonde," appearing as fallen MI6 agent James Gasciogne and coordinating that movie's awesome stunts.

Both "Wolf Warrior" (now streaming on Netflix) and "Wolf Warrior 2" pit elite Chinese special ops soldiers against an international group of mercenaries who also happen to be veterans of the world's most elite special ops forces. They fight a proxy war against Chinese might and wiles and (spoiler) they lose.

In the second movie, our hero Leng Feng has been stripped of his military service after killing men who were mocking the family of one of his fallen comrades from the first movie. After some time in prison, he ends up working security for Chinese business interests in Africa.

The movie filmed in Africa and emphasizes the dangers Chinese citizens face from pirates and revolutionaries as China pours huge amounts of money into African economic development.

Once Chinese citizens get caught in a revolution, the generals back in China have zero problem recruiting Leng Feng to rescue a Chinese national physician whose been researching a cure to a deadly disease.

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The revolutionary army has hired a team of mercenaries led by an American called Big Daddy (Frank Grillo, who played Crossbones in "Captain America: Civil War") and they're determined to capture the young child who's the key to curing the disease.

Leng Feng takes out dozens of mercenaries and soldiers with limited assistance from the people he's there to save. There's a great chase scene through an African shantytown, an outstanding tank battle and a final showdown between Big Daddy and Leng Feng, a moment where the movie wears its Chinese nationalism on its sleeve.

There are really two audiences the "Wolf Warrior" movies. Anyone who loves action movies should see them right away. The folks at the State Department, Pentagon and CIA who are monitoring China just in case things ever go bad between our two countries should be studying Wu Jing. The USA hasn't cornered the market on patriotism yet.

"Wolf Warrior 2" ends with Leng Feng being called back to military service and there's an excellent setup for the inevitable sequel. 

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