Review: The Wandering Earth

Goodbye, solar system.

The sun is expanding, and soon Earth will be engulfed. Scientists formulate a plan to launch Earth out of our solar system into a new one by installing massive engines all over one side of the globe. In 2500 years, the Earth will reach a new solar system. Liu Peiqiang (Jing Wu) leaves behind his four year old son with his grandfather, (Man-Tat Ng) to go aboard the international space station that is monitoring Earth's move. The remaining inhabitants of Earth move into underground cities. 19 years later, his son Liu Qi (Chuxiao Qu) has grown into a rebellious young man and takes adopted younger sister Han Duoduo (Jin Mai Jaho) on the service as Liu Peiqiang is getting ready to make his return to Earth. But Earth is moving too close to Jupiter and is going to collide. Now all of these people are getting caught up in a last ditch effort to save humanity. 

This is based on a short story by popular Chinese author Cixin Liu. I read a translation of one of his books, The Three-Body Problem and enjoyed the premise but was ultimately underwhelmed as a whole. My husband loved the book and bought the entire trilogy. This movie was a massive hit in China and when Netflix picked up the U.S distribution, I knew we were going to see it.

Here's the thing about Cixin, I love his ideas but I'm not a huge fan of how they are executed. The premise of this movie is fascinating, the characters aren't the richest, but they give us enough to feel invested. But while it starts out strong the second half flops into a convoluted mess that simultaneously drags, yet doesn't explain itself enough. And like The Three-Body Problem, the ending didn't work for me. It's not going full Ghost Ship like TBP did but Liu Peiqiang does something towards the end that is so serious and risky and he does it with zero input from anyone else that it rubbed me the wrong way. 

Despite not caring for the end, this film is just way too interesting to write off completely. There really isn't another sci fi story like it. If China is making more movies like this, I hope international markets take note and give them a wider release. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B-


Memorable Quote: "I'm sorry." - Liu Peiqiang (Jing Wu) 

6 comments:

  1. I've heard mixed reviews about this film yet I am aware that it did HUGE business in China. I'll check it out.

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    1. Yeah, its box office in China is insane. It made like 600M. You should definitely give it a watch!

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  2. Really glad to read a couple of reviews for this. It had slipped by me but I love some of the imagery I've seen. Sounds like it is definitely worth checking out.

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  3. Ooooo, Chinese Sci-fi eh? Added to my watchlist!!!

    Sucks to hear about the second half, but Chinese sci-fi has me hooked already :P and I read about it here first!

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    1. Yay! I hope you like it, can't wait to read your thoughts.

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