Movie Review - The Wandering Earth
This film for example made just shy of $700 million. As such, it is the second highest-grossing Chinese film, as well as the second highest-grossing non-English film of all-time. It puts it in the Top 20 of highest-grossing science fiction films. It probably won't win any awards here in the U.S., but it's a disaster movie that wins the award of being the craziest and topping the insanity that's normally limited to a Roland Emmerich or a Dean Devlin film. If you've seen Emmerich or Devlin's films, you know that they love to create movies where the entire world gets destroyed. They like portraying global devastation where entire cities are ruined either by monsters like Independence Day (1996) or through epic natural disasters as in Geostorm (2017).
Jing Wu (Wolf Warrior) stars as Liu Peiqiang, a Chinese astronaut who is also a single father of two children. He has to leave his two kids with their grandfather when Peiqiang is called to serve aboard the international space station that has been built to guide the Earth on a journey out of its solar system. Yes, the beyond impossible premise of this film is that due to the expansion of the Sun, scientists and the combined governments have decided to move the planet Earth out of its orbit around that Sun and take the planet to another solar system that would be safer.
Chuxiao Qu co-stars as Liu Qi, the teenage son of Peiqiang. He's grown up in one of the underground cities in China. He's grown up with his paternal grandfather and sister. He's a bit upset at his father for not being around. His father has been on the space station for Qi's entire childhood. Because of which, it makes Qi act out or act recklessly. He'll occasionally steal his grandfather's access card, which allows him to drive a huge vehicle that looks the size of several tanks and tractor-trailers called a transporter. Qi will take the transporter on joy rides with his sister. Those joy rides are along the surface of the Earth, which is completely frozen over.
Qi has to help rebuild the engines and figure out a way to get the Earth out of the gravitational pull of Jupiter. At the same time, Peiqiang has to figure out a way to help from on board the space station, which isn't easy given that he also has to battle the station's computer called MOSS, which is more like the computer from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). It's unneeded, but it gives Jing Wu who is a more acclaimed actor something to do for the bulk of this film.
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Running Time: 2 hrs. and 5 mins.
Available on Netflix.