Wolf Warrior (2015)
Wolf Warrior (2015)
Director: Wu Jing
Cast: Wu Jing, Scott Adkins, Nan Yu
Synopsis: A Chinese special force soldier with extraordinary marksmanship is confronted by a group of deadly foreign mercenaries who are hired to assassinate him by a vicious drug lord.
It’s strange to see those from the Western world portrayed as the irredeemable villains of the piece, but hardly surprising given that Wolf Warrior hails from the People’s Republic of China and has all the propagandistic subtlety of one of those WWII flag-wavers that portrayed the Japanese as slit-eyed, buck-toothed baby-eaters. The dastardly round-eyed Westerners are an elite bunch of mercenaries led by the quaintly named Tom Cat (Scott Adkins) who’s hired by master criminal Min Deng (Ni Dahonh) to kill Leng Feng (Wu Jing), an army marksman who killed Deng’s hostage-taking brother in defiance of orders from above to stand down. A rather neglected sub-plot also sees Deng wanted by the Chinese government for stealing a genetic weapon with the unlikely property of killing only Chinese citizens.
Needless to say, the white devils don’t fare too well in their skirmish with the indefatigable Leng Feng. After ambushing his unit during a military exercise and killing a comrade who, quite frankly, had sealed his fate a couple of scenes earlier by showing the hero a photo of his cute little daughter, the mercenaries employ any number of dirty tricks to lure Feng into their clutches while racing for the safety of the border. Apart from ambushing unsuspecting Chinese soldiers, they fire RPGs filled with graphite powder to disable airborne helicopters, plant mines, shoot soldiers trying to rescue their stricken comrade, and all while running away and hiding behind a tree after doing it. In contrast, the Chinese soldiers, backed by state-of-the-art modern technology, are noble and brave and willing to die for their country.
Whether you will enjoy Wolf Warrior depends very much on your tolerance level for this brand of undemanding action movie. It’s not a bad movie for its genre: although the plot – what there is of it – harks back to a simpler time, the action is well-staged, and for once the 10:1 ratio of missed shots to hits is justified by blind firing or the presence of obstacles like trees and bushes deflecting or blocking shots. It also has a neat sequence in which Feng relies on instructions issued from HQ via his headset every 2.3 seconds to evade a sniper’s bullet as he charges through a forest. That this sequence concludes with Feng somehow emerging unscathed after stepping on a land mine laid by one of those dastardly round-eyes as they ran away pretty much sums up the unevenness of Wolf Warrior. For those who aren’t fans of the genre, Wolf Warrior’s simplistic plot, heavy-handed flag-waving, dodgy CGI and truly abysmal subtitles, is sure to prove a turn-off.
(Reviewed 17th October 2015)