The Wandering Earth 流浪地球 (2019) - China
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
In true “Interstellar” fashion, the big budget Chinese sci-fi and China’s first big foray into the space futuristic disaster genre. What impresses me the most is the lack of patriotic pride, over-drowning of nationalism and over idealistic individualism usually found in Chinese made blockbusters. This is particularly impressive as other than the main characters being focused on Chinese, it could’ve been any other nationality. Instead of flying the Chinese flag at all occasions, we get deeper characters, wonderful special effects and the theme of working together, sacrificing for human nature, impact of climate change and globalisation. Based on the novel of the same name director Frant Gwo managed to craft a sci-fi epic with enough scale and spectacular visuals to impresses most demanding genre fans.
Wu Jing provides the star power in the film with an assuring special appearance in a key role of saving Earth from Jupiter. Younger actors Qu Chuxiao and Zhao Jinmai makes a convincing brother and sister caught in the middle of a natural disaster and tasked with saving Earth and the entire human race. Hong Kong veteran actor Ng Man Tat is memorable as the old head and grandfather.
All in all, “The Wandering Earth” easily stands as one of the better Chinese epic productions that does not simply wave the flag and save the day. The film have plenty to say about important issues like climate change and humanity working together to save the Earth, rather than any single country doing it all. Sure the core characters are Chinese, but these are interchangeable characters, thus providing the film with an universal appeal. With its release on Netflix, the film should reach a much wider audience and this time deservingly so.
I rated it 7.5/10