|Wolf warrior’s howl roars on big screen|
BY 润羽 from 21st Century|
While TV dramas like Soldiers’ Sortie and My Chief and My Regiment have won big success on the small screen, we seldom see hit Chinese films about modern military warfare. But now, Wolf Warriors, directed by and starring Wu Jing, 41, has begun to fill that void.
The 3-D war epic centers on Leng Feng, an insubordinate special forces soldier who is expelled from the army because he disobeys orders and shoots a drug lord during an assault mission. But his extraordinary marksmanship and tough personality win him recruitment into the elite military squadron Wolf Warriors.
In his first military drill as a member of the Wolf Warriors, Leng and his comrades are faced with a serious challenge when a troop of foreign mercenaries straddle the borderline and turn the drill into actual combat.
Throughout the film, Wu shows the bold, macho side of Chinese soldiers. Wu revealed when he promoted the film in Wuhan on March 29 that to better capture the authentic lifestyle of special forces officers, he spent 18 months living and training together with them. This experience influenced the movie’s script. In the film, a 1.5-meters tall special forces soldier grabs the throat of a foreign mercenary who’s much taller than he is. The scene was inspired by a true story, Wu said, and the soldier is played by a retired special forces member.
What fans expect most from military themed action movies is no doubt advanced weaponry and fierce fight scenes, and Wolf Warriors delivers in full. It showcases weapons including J-10 fighter jets and other military aircraft, M25 sniper rifles and even tanks.
The final one-on-one grapple between Leng and the villain, played by English martial arts master Scott Adkins, pushes the film to its climax. When watching this scene, the audience may have only one wish － that the fight could have lasted longer.
War films are known to arouse a sense of patriotism, and Wolf Warriors is no different. No country is perfect, not even our own, but the scene in which the Warriors put on armbands reading “I fight for China” made my heart swell with pride.
The first lesson the Wolf Warriors teaches Leng is team spirit. However，the latter half of the movie is almost all about Hollywood-style individual heroism and male chauvinism, with Leng alone taking down the leader of the mercenaries and their boss.
The heroines Long Xiaoyun (Yu Nan, 38) is primed to be a formidable and resourceful female commander. The Warriors respect Long’s intelligence and leadership abilities, but these qualities go to waste on screen. It seems to me that this female role exists only to allow Leng one more person to project his irresistible charm on to.
With Wolf Warriors topping box office charts last weekend, its producers caught the smell of money and are now considering making the movie into a series, according to The Beijing News. The one-man-army trope is tired, and I hope that if the movie becomes a franchise it focus more on tactical warfare and team chemistry.
(Translator & Editor: 21英语Sara And Chen Huan)