Why China’s patriotic action films are exploding in popularity – Cameron L. White
In late February, Hollywood insiders went through the routine of checking the trades for that month’s new releases. Top billing went to Black Panther, which had bagged $83 million the previous weekend. Yet the weekend’s real winner was a film most Americans had never even heard of. Raking in $106.4 million, Operation Red Sea (红海行动) had conquered global box office rankings, despite barely surpassing $1 million outside China in the same period.
Directed by Hong Kong filmmaker Dante Lam, and a loose follow-up to his previous film Operation Mekong, Operation Red Sea was inspired by the 2015 evacuation of Chinese nationals from Yemen. The film begins with the members of Jiaolong, a Chinese naval special ops force, liberating a hijacked cargo ship off the coast of Africa. From there, the plot pivots into another rescue mission.