Wolf Warriors 2 is the movie sensation of the summer in China, taking in over a record $630 million in box office receipts. The movie is so popular that is now the first non-Hollywood film to ever break in to the top 100 highest grossing releases.
Set in a fictitious African country, Wolf Warriors 2 depicts a former Chinese special forces operative in an active war zone to rescue a group of Chinese compatriots and locals from a posse of blood-thirsty Western mercenaries. Marital arts star Wu Jing directed and stars in the movie as the lead character Leng Feng who blows up pretty much everything in his way as he rescues the innocent and kills the bad guys.
Wolf Warriors 2 is more than just an action movie, it also highlights a rising level of patriotic identity in China that now extends internationally. The film’s tag line “whoever offends China will be hunted down no matter how far away they are” embodies this new assertive globalist message that China’s interests extend far beyond its own borders and that when challenged, Beijing will respond to protect its people and interests overseas. Moviegoers have long been accustomed to watching these kinds of films coming from the United States, whether it’s the nationalism portrayed in Top Gun or the lone soldier seeking justice that was the Rambo series, but this is an entirely experience seeing it in distinctly Chinese context.
In this edition of the China in Africa Podcast, Eric & Cobus discuss why Wolf Warriror 2 is so important both to understand Chinese popular opinion of Africa but also to gain an insight into a more muscular Chinese worldview.
- Quartz: China’s Wolf Warriors 2 in ‘war-ravaged Africa’ gives the White Savior complex a whole new meaning by Lily Kuo
- Agence France Presse: Chinese blockbuster Wolf Warriors 2 kicks Forrest Gump off list of top 100 grossing films
- BBC News: Wolf Warrior 2: The nationalist action film storming China