Wandering Earth is a Chinese sci-fi film directed by Frant Gwo based on the book by Liu Cixin. This film came to Netflix this month with English dubbing.
Set in the future our sun has started going supernova. Earths solution is to turn the whole earth into a spaceship by building massive motors and flying the whole planet to the next solar system. Thats it! thats the plot, the whole earth bands together and becomes a rocket ship. Its absolutly crazy and never really makes sense throughout the film. Does this matter though?
The story is a paired one with a son on Earth trying to save the planet when it becomes doomed to be dragged into Jupiter and his son in a space station above that is designed to guide the mission. The son is joined by a team of soldiers and a few misfits whilst the father has a HAL like AI and a Russian cosmonaut.
I think that it is safe to say that the plot has problems, nowhere is the how of the Wandering Earth adequately explained although there is some attempt to show how mankind survives on the Earth as its spin stops and the boosters push the planet out into space.
What elevates this film is not the characters who are somewhat one dimensional whose fates are predictable but the visuals. The film excels at showing us massive motors and a cities covered in ice. Huge vehicles run along the surface and each city buried beneath the reactors are well portrayed. In fact the world building is good, it is easy to see mankind’s new life even if the reasons behind it are a little spurious
This film is trying too much at once, it is trying to include a family story, with a disaster movie, with a sci-fi end of the world scenario. It never quite all gels together well. Its an entertaining watch with some great action sequences but remember to hold higher thoughts in check.