Here comes the Chinese Rambo: Watch this movie to know what all China is up to
The protagonist of the movie is a renegade commando who has been expelled from Chinese special forces and imprisoned for taking on the baddies in his hometown.
Wolf Warriors 2, a military action drama, invents a Chinese Rambo to narrativise the country's new-found urge to lead the world after indications of Donald Trump-ruled US relinquishing that role.
Wolf Warriors 2 mimics several themes from popular Hollywood series 'Rambo', in which the the Reagon-era American icon allegorises the American policy of global domination. Echoing Rambo, the protagonist of Wolf Warriors 2 is a renegade commando who has been expelled from Chinese special forces and imprisoned for taking on the baddies in his hometown. After completing his sentence, he goes to Africa to find peace. In an unidentified African country, the Chinese Rambo gets back in his element and rescues civilians—many of them Chinese nationals working there—from mercenaries and rebels.
The story of Wolf Warriors 2 seems eerily realistic when you consider China's mega investment push in Africa and its latest one-belt-one-road (OBOR) initiative—strings of roads, railways and ports that will pass through dozens of countries in Asia and Africa. China promises OBOR will free the less-developed, small countries from economic stagnation.
The Chinese Rambo saving workers from his country in Africa makes it clear that China's global power play combines money and military. It is not a coincidence that it recently opened its first overseas military base in Djibouti in Africa.
The first Wolf Warriors movie, released in 2015, too featured the Chinese global assertion but as an emerging impulse. Appropriately, the commando in the movie is yet not a Rambo forcing the American writ on people in faraway lands. But the fact that he fights a US Navy Seal commando in a Chinese town signals the beginning of the Chinese global dream which hinged on challenging the US.
The commando has come a considerable distance from fighting a rogue American on home turf to waging a moral war in Africa. This narrative shift from Wolf Warriors to its sequel reveals how China has begin to see itself—in just a few years—not as a mere challenger to the US but as the world cop.
Trust the Chinese not to leave things just to symbolism. At the end, Wolf Warriors 2 rams its message through with crude imperialist fervour. A Chinese passport appears with a direct message for those who may still not have decoded the raw symbolism. It says, "Citizens of the People's Republic of China. When you encounter danger in a foreign land, do not give up! Please remember, at your back stands a strong motherland."
Bye bye, Pax Americana!