September 16, 2023
by Carla Hay
“Raid on the Lethal Zone”
Directed by Herman Yao
Culture Representation: Taking place in the 1998, in Yunnan, China, the action film “Raid on the Lethal Zone” has an all-Asian cast of characters representing the working-class and middle-class.
Culture Clash: During a raid, an anti-narcotics unit of law enforcement takes on drug dealers during a flood.
Culture Audience: “Raid on the Lethal Zone” will appeal primarily to people who are fans of action-packed movies about good versus evil.
“Raid on the Lethal Zone” is an effective combination of a crime drama, action movie, and disaster flick taking place during a flood. The visual effects are convincing. And although there are some formulaic elements, not everything is predictable.
Directed by Herman Yao and written by Pang Xiao,” (which takes place in Yunnan, China), Raid on the Lethal Zone” jumps right into the action of showing the story’s main conflict: a battalion called 8007 has been tasked with taking down drug dealers who recently blew up an anti-narcotics truck in Meng City. This law enforcement squad is part of the Border Defense Force. The squad leader is Wang Jin Hou (played by Ou Hao), who reports to Captain Zhang Li (played by Zhao Xuan) and who has to lead his team during this flood, which includes avalanches of cascading water.
Meanwhile, Hou is dealing with issues in his personal life. He is still pining over his ex-girlfriend Yao Yao (played by Huang Yao), who is a police officer. Another soldier named Luo Qui (played by Liu Jun Qi) has mental health issues. Also on the squad are Commander Sun Ji (played by Yu Hao Ming) and soldiers Liu Chun Sheng (played by Shi Peng Yuan and Kong Zhu Guo(played by Martin Wang), also known as Da Zhu.
The homicidal leader of the drug-dealing thugs has the nickname Dragon (played by Alan Aruna), who is as ruthless as you would expect him to be. “Raid on the Lethal Zone” doesn’t delve too much into the characters’ backstories. About 95% of the movie is about the crisis during the flood. Therefore, all the action that happens won’t be revealed in this review. It’s enough to say that there so much life-and-death tension in “Raid on the Lethal Zone,” which has very good cinematography, after the movie is over, you might feel exhausted from watching a movie that has all this non-stop action.
China Lion released “Raid on the Lethal Zone” in select U.S. cinemas on September 8, 2023.