To save one single Chinese national held hostage in a war-torn African country, China’s navy sends an elite squad on an anti-terrorist mission the features so many explosions it’s like Operation Desert Storm squeezed into one day. […]. [G]enre fans in overseas markets will be awestruck by the mind-blowing action […].
The closest Hollywood precedents of Lam’s biggest production to date are Michael Bay’s 13 Hours and Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down. Not only are they films on terrorism shot in Morocco, all work hard to plunge viewers into a nerve-shattering, immersive experience. Lam’s production is just as overblown, with […] a graphic depiction of human casualties (such as stumps of limbless torsos) that manages to be as numbing as it is stomach-churning.
Covering Morocco’s imposing mountainous and desert terrain, Lam, who doubles as action director, makes use of the high altitude vantage points to stage some terrific sniping sequences. Music by Elliot Leung is surprisingly subdued and subtly elegiac by mainland blockbuster standards. Instead of using an orchestral score for major setpiece, the movie often holds back to let the fantastic, roaring sound mix do the work. As in all of Lam’s works, overall tech credits are of a very high level.
Maggie Lee, Variety