As the sun is dying out, people all around the world build giant planet thrusters to move Earth out of its orbit and sail Earth to a new star system. Yet the 2500-year journey comes with unexpected dangers, and in order to save humanity, a group of young people in this age of a wandering Earth fight hard for the survival of humankind.
China's deadliest special forces operative settles into a quiet life on the sea. When sadistic mercenaries begin targeting nearby civilians, he must leave his newfound peace behind and return to his duties as a soldier and protector.
The sun is dying out. The earth will soon be engulfed by the inflating sun. To save the human civilization, scientists draw up an escape plan that will bring the whole human race from danger. With the help of thousands of infusion powered engines, the planet earth will leave the solar system and embark on a 2,500 year journey to the orbit of a star 4.5 light years away.
A typical Hollywood doomsday movie, but poorly acted
The movie is groundbreaking for China in that the special effects are impressive and that it shows they can do sci-fi in design. Sadly, aside from that, there's not much to like about the movie.
To put into context first, Wandering Earth cannot be compared to a Marvel or DC Comics movie nor to most sci-fi movies: they are completely different genres and are much less likely to involve human cooperation. At it's core Wandering Earth is a 'doomsday' or 'disaster' movie. It should be compared to movies like: The Day After Tomorrow; Armageddon; Deep Impact; Outbreak; Contagion; etc.
In that context, Wandering Earth has a very basic, standard plot. The characters are similar, except exaggerated and over the top. Together, aside from the usual interdepartment and/or international disagreements and eventual cooperation that can be found in such disaster movies, the plot and characters sum up to:
"Young, handsome rebel who hates his dad (unreasonably) and acts selfishly in all but the final moments ends up a hero".
The acting is weak.
Character motivations are vague and often elaborated on only at the moment of death or near death (eg. through flashbacks), so there is no bonding with the characters on the way there.
The main character swings back and forth between wanting to sacrifice all humanity to selfishly save his own friends and family (which would be very temporary) and wanting to sacrifice other people's lives to save all humanity. There is zero chance of ever feeling any connection or sympathy with that character.
Potentially moving/touching moments are ruined by the way-too-obvious comedic relief characters (eg. watch someone important die, then laugh because the guy with white hair did something silly).
The 'action' arc is "intro - climax - climax - climax - climax - climax - climax - conclusion" to the point that the climax just feels like it's dragging on and on.
Worst of all:
There is an amazing sci-fi premise that is pulled off spectactularly with the special effects, but it amounts to nothing. It is the backdrop for just another disaster movie.
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