Just when you thought we had it bad with John Walker, out comes Captain China (孤胆行动).
The movie was released on Tencent Video streaming website on 18 May and tells the tale of a group of Chinese heroes who declare war on a bunch of foreign superheroes who have encroached on their turf in China.
Directed by He Yizheng, the film features characters such as the Monkey King from the classic novel Journey to the West, eccentric monk Ji Gong and late Kung Fu star Bruce Lee. The movie stars lesser-known actors such as Zheng Xiaofu, Li Taiyan and Du Qiao.
Some of the characters seem to have superpowers whilst others leaned towards physical capabilities. Nonetheless, Captain China sees a character named Justice Bao firing laser beams from his crescent-moon-shaped birthmark on his forehead and other characters with just as strange antics.
This Justice Bao is an even poorer facsimile of White Vision we saw a few months back.
Viewers were unimpressed and Chinese netizens have left terrible reviews online citing the film’s poor storyline and ugly visuals. The movie also ripped elements that are iconic to the Marvel Cinematic Universe such as its recognizable comic book page flip opening sequence.
Despite being under so much fire, the movie received a 7.6 rating on Tencent Video and clinched the number one spot for internet movies on movie ticketing website Maoyan Entertainment. Chinese IMDB, Douban, tells a rather different story. A YouTube channel has also uploaded the movie on the video site, so if you’re curious to see what’s so bad about Captain China you can do so here. Thankfully, it comes with subtitles.
Maybe the production company can take some notes from their Chinese compatriots, Game Science Studio, on their excellent take of the “Soulsborne” genre.