Film Review: Confusing Action Adventure “Wolf Pack”

wolf pack (lang qun) 2022 film movie - poster one sheetIf you’re a naysayer who believes that it’s only Hollywood that can produce big-budget action nonsense, you’ll be surprised by Wolf Pack (Lang qun). It’s jam-packed with exciting stunts and action sequences that are barely tied together with a rather banal plot. The film follows Chinese field physician Guan Zhiyang (Jin Zhang) who, after the mysterious death of his parents, has made it his life’s purpose to help the underprivileged. While on a field project in Egypt, he meets a strange young woman, Goblin (Luxia Jiang), who quickly beguiles him into volunteering for a project she’s staffing up in Java. There are a number of small children trapped by a volcano, we learn.

It’s a sham, of course, and before he knows it, they’re being extricated from the middle of nowhere with a thrilling in-flight helicopter pickup. But the crew that Dr. Zhiyang finds himself with aren’t fellow physicians, they’re mercenaries, led by the über-cool Ke Tong (Aarif Rahman). They rush to a rebel encampment somewhere in the Middle East and Dr. Zhiyang demonstrates his MacGuyver-like expertise in improvising complex medical equipment for a field brain surgery operation. No problem! But his new crew, the Medical Emergency Team, are mercenaries, so suddenly the improv surgical tent turns into a battlefield and everyone’s a martial artist.

MEA is just a cover story, because in fact the group is the Beiwei Army, a private military company. Our young doctor is not impressed and believes he’s been kidnapped and coerced into working with the group. But, no worries, with the logic of action films, it’s only a few more minutes before he’s becoming a leader of the team, a team populated with typical military nicknamed personnel including Fireball, Shell, Monstrosity, and Fly. And remember, the love interest is Goblin, not really the most romantic of names, but perhaps there’s something lost in (subtitle) translation?

wolf pack (lang qun) 2022 film movie - publicity still photo

Dr. Guan Zhiyang (Jin Zhang), from “Wolf Pack”

There’s a backstory about Zhiyang’s mother giving him a photo of his father with a strange pirate-like graphic that she told him “will lead you to your father’s killers”. Guess what logo the Beiwei Army uses? Perhaps the least surprising element in a movie full of obvious story ticks and twists. The big mission is for our heroes to defeat the nefarious rebel group that’s infiltrated a massive natural gas refinery and secretly booby-trapped with explosives. A high altitude air drop insertion, lots of martial arts fighting, and the resolution of yet another half-hearted storyline about a poor Arabian boy who has been coerced into working with the rebels.

Like so many action movies, Wolf Pack isn’t a film you’ll watch for the thoughtful storyline and wry commentary on world politics. It’s all about the action sequences and they are very well done. If you imagine a cross between a Mission: Impossible film and a Fast & Furious film, with a bit of G.I.Joe thrown in and you’ll be about spot-on with your expectations. The biggest difference between Wolf Pack and big-budget Hollywood action films is the distinctive lack of nudity and even the suggestion of intimacy between characters. Even without bikini-clad women lying across expensive sports cars, however, there are some very good action sequences that might make it worth watching for action film fans.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

dave taylor vertigo film swirl backgroundPlanet Dave is run by Dave Taylor, who has been writing about film, cars, games, and his lifestyle for many years. He's based in Boulder, Colorado and assures readers he's only occasionally falling into a gravity well or temporal distortion field.

Planet Dave via Email!

Read my latest missive in your mailbox, it's what all the cool kids are doing!