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Wolf Warriors
Wolf Warriors

Wu Jing is one of the Wolf Warriors.
Chinese: 戰狼  
Year: 2015  
Director: Wu Jing  
Producer: Lv Jianmin, Wu Jing, Fang Ming  

Wu Jing, Liu Yi, Dong Qun, Gao Yan


Li Chung-Chi

Cast: Wu Jing, Yu Nan, Scott Adkins, Ni Dahong, Shi Zhaoqi, Kevin Lee, Zhou Xiaoou, Fang Zibin, Guo Guangping, Ru Ping, Hong Wei, Liu Tengyuan
The Skinny: A C+ action movie that suffers mightily when subjected to any critical scrutiny. Wolf Warriors won’t win any awards – and actually, if it did the awarding body should be roundly castigated – but it’s got solid bits of action that could entertain genre fans. However, given stars Wu Jing and Scott Adkins, it should have had more hand-to-hand fighting. A blockbuster in mainland China, if you’re curious about such things.
by Kozo:

Wolf Warriors opens with an exploding title sequence punctuated by a military knife and shell casing being used as strokes on the title’s Chinese characters – so yeah, this movie is not subtle. Wolf Warriors is a vehicle for perpetual “I’ve got next!” martial arts star Wu Jing, and given the film’s blockbuster status in the mainland, he may have finally achieved big screen superstardom. In the mainland. Internationally, the film is a tougher sell thanks to its cheesy patriotism and laughable screenplay. Wu’s overacting and uninteresting character also do him no favors, though he handles the action sequences effectively enough to make the whole thing a decent genre film throwaway. It’s natural to forgive action stars for their bad movies because they’re here to pose, beat up people and utter catchphrases, and are not responsible for anything else. We can’t make those excuses here though, because Wu Jing not only stars in Wolf Warriors, he writes, produces, directs, sings the theme song and probably gave the crew daily personal massages. Wu Jing: Sorry man, there’s no escaping these knocks.

Perfunctory plot that facilitates action and many gratuitous shots of military hardware: PLA sniper Leng Feng (Wu Jing) is sentenced to confinement after he disobeys orders during a drug raid and shoots evil bastard Wu Ji (Zhou Xiaoou) through a wall. But the imprisoned Leng Feng gets a recruiting visit from Long Xiaojun (Yu Nan), the sultry Commander of the Wolf Warriors, a group referred to in the subtitles as the “Blue Force in Special Force of PLA.” Weird translations aside, the Wolf Warriors are the best of the best, and are used to test lesser PLA troops via military exercises. Naturally, Leng Feng joins the Wolf Warriors, and soon his squad is engaged in a war game with a PLA brigade led by his former commanding officer (Shi Zhaoqi), the winner of which gets bragging rights and the privilege of reprimanding Leng Feng for being kind of annoying. However, the PLA scrimmage is interrupted by mercenaries working for nasty drug lord Min Peng (Ni Dahong), who’s looking to avenge the death of his brother Wu Ji. The skinny: Min Peng is out for Leng Feng’s head.

Like most diabolical Big Bads, Min Peng doesn’t plan on going toe-to-toe with Leng Feng, and leaves the heavy lifting to mercenary Tomcat (Scott Adkins). However, despite Tomcat and the mercenaries having ass-kicking skills, their plan sucks. If your goal is to take out one guy, why not target just him instead of interrupting a PLA war game and fighting an entire army? There’s also a subplot about a virus that will only kill Chinese people, but it feels like a plot convenience that’s added to get Min Peng off his ass and into the field with everyone else. Put plainly, this is an awful story and a step down from eighties Golan-Globus productions about Caucasian ninjas who invade Southeast Asian countries. The action does suffice in that B-/C+ action film way; there are plenty of explodey moments, and the gunplay and knife fights occur in fast and sometimes acrobatic fashion. Some moments are pure Hong Kong Cinema; at one point, Min Peng smokes a cigar in a firefight, not once flinching while cars and people explode around him. It’s a ridiculous scene but also a hilariously fun one.

Unfortunately, despite the presence of good martial arts actors like Wu Jing and Scott Adkins, the film has comparatively less hand-to-hand action. The two go at it twice, and while the choreography and impact are good, the scenes are too short. Also, the story is ridiculously patriotic – though we should really be forgiving about this given the years of “America, fuck yeah!” actioners that Hollywood has subjected the globe to. Less forgivable is the romantic subplot between Leng Feng and Long Xiaojun, which basically involves one party sexually harassing the other while their superior officer eggs them on and the entire PLA listens in via military radio. And yet, it’s possible to also forgive these backwards moments because Wolf Warriors is not to be taken seriously, and common sense dictates that it’s best to just give it a pass. Otherwise Wolf Warriors will offend for its politics, sexism and general badness. Mainland China may be hot for Wolf Warriors but international audiences might need a safe space to recover from its disagreeable moments and questionable quality. My take: See it for the B-grade action or don’t see it at all. (Kozo, 6/2015)



DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Panorama (HK)
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Mandarin and Cantonese Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English and Chinese subtitles
*Also Available on 2D and 3D Blu-ray Disc
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