Wolf Warrior II, the sequel of Wolf Warrior (2015), is a patriotic superhero film that features and is directed by Wu Jing, and it's such a massive production you really feel like you're watching a big budget Hollywood film. Don't worry if you haven’t seen the first film, it won't take the enjoyment out of this one.
Previously a soldier of the Chinese Special Forces, Leng Feng (Wu) was discharged from the army for attacking the boss of a company who assaulted the family of one of Leng's late comrades and had to serve three years in military prison. Upon his release, Leng leaves for Africa to work as a mercenary where a civil war breaks out. As Chinese civilians in the country are being evacuated, Leng volunteers to single-handedly rescue those trapped in a hospital and a factory, not only because of his own heroism, but because of something deeply personal to him.
Confused? Yeah, don't expect this film about a nationalistic hero to make too much sense or to be very believable. Leng is able to fight with so many weapons - guns, knives, bow and arrow ... logs (?!) and, of course, bare hands, just to name a few - and can also fight underwater for a good amount of time. Apparently breathing isn't a thing for him. However, he's also a character you want to root for because he's an ideal but traditional Chinese male figure who's athletic, masculine, brave, observant and intelligent. He always puts women and children's safety first, and cares for everyone regardless of whether they're Chinese or not.
Considering the violence and tension of the film, the beautiful landscape shots can feel like a misfit to the overall atmosphere of Wolf Warrior II. The scenery also doesn't add to the story or to its plot development; it's really just there to be showing off. The ending of the film can also feel very much like propaganda for China, which may be a bit off-putting for some people.
If action movies with a lot of death, blood and gore are you thing, you'll enjoy this sequel. Unlike many films of its genre, Wolf Warrior II is complicated but it's held together by a tight plot and excellent performances and stunt choreography. Wu gives an impressive performance as the eternally loyal and undefeatable fighter, and his martial arts work is wonderful. Music is used well to captivate the audience and keep them engaged even during scenes where not much is going on. There is also a good dose of brotherhood, love, and family in the story to satisfy our emotional sides. However, if violence in films bother you, give this one a miss.