To represent its country’s contribution to filmmaking at the 90th Academy Awards, China has chosen Wolf Warriors 2 — a nationalistic mega-blockbuster that has been called the nation’s very own Rambo. We can’t imagine anything more appropriate.
The flag-waving action movie’s plotline of heroic Chinese soldiers saving their compatriots and war-ravaged Africans from blood-thirsty Western mercenaries managed to resonate like never before with audiences in China with the film quickly becoming the country’s highest-grossing movie of all-time.
“The movie’s plot echoes the Chinese navy’s evacuation of Chinese nationals from war-torn areas of Africa,” the Global Times noted upon announcing that the film had been made China’s submission to the best foreign-language film category at the 2018 Oscars. Recently, China opened up its first military base in Africa.
Directed by and starring martial arts expert Wu Jing, Wolf Warriors 2 will certainly be the highest-grossing movie to ever be up for an award in that category. Since its release on July 27th, the film has earned $852 million, far surpassing China’s previous record holder, Stephen Chow’s The Mermaid, which grossed only about $500 million.
In contrast, both Hong Kong and Taiwan have put forward notably different sorts of movies. Hong Kong’s submission, Mad World, focuses on a former financial analyst who is placed in the custody of his truck-driver father after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and released from a mental hospital. Meanwhile, Taiwan’s submission, Small Talk, is a documentary about the filmmaker and her lesbian mother’s past.
However, it’s not like China has had much luck in the best foreign-language film category anyway. China has only been nominated twice in the category — for Ju Dou (1990) and Hero (2002) — with neither managing to take home an Oscar.
Though, this might have a bit to do with the movies that are being submitted for appraisal. Last year’s submission was Xuanzang, a Chinese-Indian historical adventure film about the titular monk’s journey to India in the seventh century. You can watch a trailer below:
Boy, how did that not win over the Academy?
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