“China’s new favorite action hero single-handedly routs pirates off the African coast in undersea combat. He wakes up fit to fight after nearly dying from a flesh-eating plague. He wields guns galore, poison arrows and a tank to wipe out the mercenaries led by the villainous Big Daddy, a swaggering, sneering American soldier of fortune. But in the end, what saves the hero of Wolf Warrior 2, China’s most popular movie ever, is a Chinese flag wrapped around his arm.” — from Chris Buckley‘s 8.16 N.Y. Times story, “In China, an Action Hero Beats Box Office Records (and Arrogant Westerners).”

High-testosterone action garbage cinema by any other name…later.

“As of last Wednesday, Wolf Warrior 2 had earned $722 million in ticket sales in three weeks, easily surpassing The Mermaid, a romantic fantasy released last year, as the top-grossing film of all time in China.

“The success of the two-hour film, featuring a red-tinged Rambo named Leng Feng, is being seen in China as a pointer to the national mood after almost five years under Xi Jinping, the president. Mr. Xi has promoted a spirit of hawkish patriotism and warned that Western forces want to bully China into submission.

“’Whoever offends the Chinese will be wiped out no matter how far away,’ goes an ancient phrase used to promote Leng Feng in two movies so far.”