Wolf Pack (2022)

Posted in Reviews by - September 12, 2023
Wolf Pack (2022)

Michael Chiang’s fast-paced actioner is a bit too trigger-happy to ever convincingly work as a tense conspiracy thriller, and never settles into any of its set-pieces or character development long enough for the action to have any real impact. Instead, we have a handsome cast somewhat wasted on a routine desert-based shoot-’em-up which will undoubtedly be forgotten about as soon as the credits roll. For those paying attention, then; the story concerns multifaceted young medic, Ke Tong (Bruce Lee, My Brother star Aarif Rahman), a selfless yet troubled freelancer operating for something resembling Doctors Without Borders who is kidnapped via helicopter in an extraordinarily mad opening sequence by a mercenary group led by Diao (Master Z star Max Zhang). Ke Tong can perform spontaneous keyhole brain surgery in the midst of a war scene as well as outrun his captors using Parkour and operate a sniper rifle (alas, not at the same time), so its little wonder that his skills are highly sought after by Diao, who may also be harbouring an important connection to Ke Tong’s late father. In a typically patriotic twist, it turns out that Diao’s gang are in league with a Chinese energy consortium assigned to protect a pipeline in Central Asia from being destroyed by another rogue entity. The great Jiang Luxia is among their number, but she only gets to show her moves in frustratingly brief moments; much like Max Zhang, who attempts a more rounded central performance but is still yet to truly deliver on his promise as a leading man. Other than a truncated knife fight towards the end with the film’s main heavy, Italian actor Diego Dati, this is much more of a military movie than a martial arts film, despite the iconic presence of fight choreographer Stephen Tung Wei. And if it’s jingoistic Chinese action films you want, there are better examples, like Dante Lam’s Operation Red Sea or Wu Jing’s Wolf Warrior films.

Wolf Pack is available on digital in North America courtesy of Well Go USA.

This post was written by
Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a laptop in London, UK.

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