It has only been two years since the first Wolf Warriors film. In the film martial arts actor Wu Jing (on acting and directing duties) plays Leng Feng, a rogue soldier with top marksman skills recruited by the War Wolf, a special Chinese Special Forces Unit. The film’s stand-out moments include Leng going toe to toe with Tom Cat (played by Scott Adkins), a lethal mercenary hired to hunt and kill Leng. Picking up from where the first film ended, Leng Feng has since been expelled from the Chinese Special Forces and released after a two year sentence in a military prison, for beating up a crooked boss responsible for destroying and tearing down his home town.
The film opens with a great underwater fight sequence (paying homage to Jackie Chan’s First Strike although this time without the shark and the comedy) in which Leng tackles pirates attempting to take over a ship in African waters. The sequence is consistent and impressive as Wu Jing gets to display his highly-skilled moves while tying all the bad guys together with a single cord while dodging their punches and kicks.
Leng is now living a quiet life in Africa, while trying to piece together what happened to his fiancée, Lieutenant Colonel Long Xiaoyun, played again by Yu Nan (The Expendables 2). Colonel Long was known to be held hostage by an unknown enemy and the only clue that Leng has to find out what happened to her is a distinctive bullet which he wears around his neck.
All is peaceful and going well for our hero as he spends time bonding with a young street peddler whom he has taken under his wing as his god-son and participates in drinking games with the locals. When a civil war erupts, Leng leaps into action to protect his god-son and a group of locals caught in the cross-fire at a supermarket. Using his combat skills and quick thinking, he leads them to the nearby Chinese Embassy where they will be safe. It is not long before Leng gets back into his old ways and volunteers to help to rescue an important doctor, Dr Chen, who has the vaccination for the deadly Lamanla virus and Leng’s god-son’s mother.
It is at this point then Leng crosses paths with a deadly band of mercenaries lead by cigar smoking Big Daddy (the excellent Frank Grillo in full bad guy mode) who kills Dr Chen just as Leng shows up. What follows is a non-stop roller coaster ride of combat fight sequences featuring martial arts, stunt expert Heidi Moneymaker (whose credits including doubling for Scarlett Johansson in the recent Marvel franchise films) who gets to dazzle on screen with her fight scenes and participates in a shanty town, roof-top motorbike chase.
With only ten minutes after that we see memorising stunts and combat scenes include seeing our hero taking out lethal drones by using only poisoned arrows as weapons. The final showdown is a huge tank fight between Big Daddy in a tank and Leng only on foot.
Leng (Wu Jing) faces up to Athena (Heidi Moneymaker)
The film’s intelligent damsel-in-distress Dr Rachel Smith played by the stunning Celina Jade (Arrow) who previously starred with Wu Jing in his directorial debut Legendary Assassin, joins Leng Feng after he rescues her along with Dr Chen’s daughter, Pasha.
Although the film is set in Africa, there are no language or cultural barriers for the characters which adds to the film’s global appeal. Captain America: The Winter’s Soldier / Civil War / Avengers: Infinity War directors the Russo Brothers were also on board to consult and help give the film more of a Hollywood edge. Although this film does have a few plot holes, this can easily be overlooked as the main focus of the film is the action and this is where the film fully delivers.
Wolf Warriors 2 is a blast to watch and a nice throwback to films of the martial arts/action genre with a many ballistic action set pieces and breathtaking moments. Stay tuned for a mid credits scene (which hints that there could be a Wolf Warriors 3) and also for the film’s out-takes.