Sci-fi Hit The Wandering Earth II goes Deeper and Scarier

The director Frant Gwo flew around the world to create the effect of the kind of high-budget, global blockbuster typically associated with Hollywood movies. The Wandering Earth, one of China’s biggest-ever movie office hits, is a science fiction disaster adventure set in the future. In order to prevent a solar disaster, Earth is implanted with propulsion rockets and guided out of orbit.

While the planet’s surface freezes and its dwindling population takes refuge below, astronauts must navigate the planet-ship to a new home. The film’s massive scope contributed to its success in China, where it was much praised, but it was not enough to make it a global phenomenon. (In the United States, it opened in a select number of theatres before making its streaming debut on Netflix.)

The expansive and at times baffling world-building in Wandering Earth, which was inspired by a short story by Cixin Liu, author of The Three-Body Problem, left a lot of potential for a sequel. The Wandering Earth II, which is getting a wider U.S. distribution alongside its Chinese debut, is even less likely than a disaster-movie sequel; it’s a prequel.

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Gwo Must Have Become Attached To The Less Chilly Version Of His Home Planet

The plot of this prequel, which takes place over several decades before Earth is launched out of orbit (made possible by thousands of fusion-powered engines around the world), features a good deal of the haphazard maximalism that characterized the original.

An apparent mad scientist is promoting a “digital you that can live forever” as a means of avoiding the end of the world. This strategy is based on artificial intelligence and is being marketed as a last-ditch effort to prevent humanity’s extinction.

The Wandering Earth II
The Wandering Earth II

We hear that 91% of Americans are against pushing Earth out of orbit because they don’t think an issue 100 years in the future is worth solving, and that pro-digital terrorist organizations have attacked a large space elevator, causing explosions and low-gravity fistfights. A government official regrets that “the world isn’t on the side of reality”.

The Wandering Earth II has a tonne of movies, and plenty of catastrophes, countdowns and chyrons huge go around. The film features an unprecedented amount of subtitled settings, periods, people, and even gadgets. Astronaut Liu Peiqiang (Wu Jing) from the first film is given some background here. Also, one of the computers shares this opinion. The writers take inspiration from Interstellar one minute and Moonfall the next.

Wandering Earth II’s Seriousness Is Its Biggest Joke

There are some funny scenes, but overall the film is startlingly dark in an admirably ambitious but questionably effective way. Many shots, including those that aren’t set on the moon, are shot in a gloomy, moon-gray color scheme. The most heartbreaking plot arc follows Tu Hengyu (Andy Lau), a scientist who loses his wife and children and becomes convinced that he can perfect an artificial intelligence by tweaking its digital echoes.

The tragic family death plot isn’t the only predictable lull in the action. When dangerous solar activity increases, an additional character must deal with the impending death of his wife, as the number of cancer cases rises. In the meantime, he’s trying to get his hands on one of the underground city’s coveted tickets.

 

Gwo manages this burden with more elegance than many so-called modern masterpieces. While the Wandering Earth series is stylistically similar to the work of Roland Emmerich and Michael Bay’s Armageddon, Gwo isn’t hesitant to include peaceful moments among the bombast.

He doesn’t cram his films with cheesy gags or desperate attempts at laughter out of nervousness. Even more so than the first film, which discovered some lyrical imagery among the cheaper-looking visual effects, some of his artwork has an uncanny, almost melancholy beauty.

How many times can a movie show a countdown to an impending catastrophe before the audience starts to become tired of it, especially when the Earth is clearly still habitable at the start of the next movie? Audiences already know Earth will be fine, therefore Wandering Earth II becomes a torture mechanism for its new cast members: The Earth will keep on turning, but in the meantime, these unfortunate schmucks can still be tortured.

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Although I highly doubt that was Gwo’s goal, it is astonishing that his three-hour Wandering Earth prequel is both wilder and more emotionally anchored than the original. Despite being so lengthy and featuring a number of memorable scenes and likable protagonists, the film ultimately lacks a certain human touch. The classic disaster film provides an experience not dissimilar to that of a horror film, albeit on a grander scale, with the viewer experiencing both the fear of oblivion and the relief of survival.

Possibly the strategy is obsolete at this point. The modern bombardment of catastrophic news is overwhelming, but Wandering Earth II, well-made though it is, feels more like immersion treatment. Global calamities have become like sequels in that they never actually finish.

On Sunday, January 22nd, the first day of the lunar new year, The Wandering Earth II will have its theatrical release.

Last Lines

We have provided you with reviews relating to Wandering Earth II here. This movie is really one of the best science fiction movies you will watch. This prequel set decades before Earth is launched out of orbit by hundreds of fusion-powered engines shares the original’s chaotic maximalism. Go and book your shows now, you will not regret it. To keep up with the most recent news, visit Leedaily.com.

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