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Operation Red Sea (2018)

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Operation Red Sea is a Chinese war film directed by Dante Lam, released on February 16, 2018. It is roughly inspired by the evacuation of 225 foreigners and almost 600 Chinese nationals from the port of Aden in Yemen in 2015 during the war. Yemeni civilian. The film is in the same style as Operation Mekong (2016) by the same director.

It is released on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army, and shortly after the 19th National Congress. It is billed as the "first modern Chinese naval film". It totals $ 579 million in revenue, so far making it the seventh biggest global hit of 2018 and the second biggest Chinese hit of all time.


On duty in the Red Sea, a Chinese Navy patrol fleet receives a distress call from a cargo ship attacked by Somali pirates who threaten Chinese passengers and sailors on board. It immediately deploys a rapid intervention unit, called Jiaolong and composed of 8 people, intended to slow the progress of the pirates until the Navy ships, heavily armed, can arrive in the area. Deployed by helicopter, the unit disembarks on the freighter. His marksman has seriously injured his spine and must be replaced. The assault team is commended for their work once the main fleet arrives.

Later, when the situation in Yewaire (imaginary country evoking Yemen) gets out of control, orders are given to evacuate the Chinese nationals present in the country. The Jiaolong Assault Team is tasked with evacuating Chinese citizens to major Chinese Navy ships via a temporary port in the region. At the same time, a Franco-Chinese journalist working in the region receives news via her assistant Abu that the local terrorist organization, Zaka, is preparing to hamper local cooperation with the Chinese by all available means. They are in contact with Dr William Parsons, local director of Greenville Energy, who is preparing to provide them with yellowcake as well as a formula for the large-scale manufacture of dirty bombs. Chinese unity receives very little support from the local government, which is in the process of collapse. It is to relocate Chinese civilians to a safe deployment area with only a jeep convoy for transport.

The convoy was ambushed by terrorists and suffered significant losses as a result of mortar and sniper attacks. All civilians are killed except the journalist. The Zaka group offers the Chinese Navy a prisoner exchange between a Chinese citizen taken hostage and President Yewairian; to show their determination, the group beheads Abu, the assistant journalist, in front of a camera. The Jiaolong unit and the journalist track down the hostage (the first priority of the mission) in a terrorist stronghold defended by 150 militiamen armed with mechanized artillery and tanks. The assault team embarks on a risky plan of secretly exchanging the Chinese hostage by the reporter. The enemy sniper reappears but is ultimately eliminated by his Chinese counterpart, while on the coast another group of terrorists unsuccessfully attempt to blow up the Chinese warship. The operation eventually succeeded in evacuating all the hostages, but 2 members of Jiaolong were killed in action and 2 others were seriously injured.

The remaining 4 members go in wing suits to the yellowcake swap site between the terrorists, who obtained Dr. Parson's formula, and a rebel group. The Zaka group betrays the rebels before Chinese soldiers manage to capture the living terrorist leader and seize the cargo plane carrying the yellowcake. Back on board the Chinese fleet, fallen soldiers are honored for their courage in combat.


Zhang Yi as Yang Rui, team leader

Huang Jingyu as Gu Shun, replacement sniper

Du Jiang as Xu Hong, deputy team leader, demolitions specialist

Hai Qing as Xia Nan, Chinese-French journalist

Wang Yutian as Zhang Tiande ("Rocky"), squad machinegunner

Jiang Luxia as Tong Li, squad machine gunner and only female member

Yin Fang as Li Dong, spotter