'Wandering Earth' is fundamentally flawed, but it's a sci-fi must-see [Movie Review]

The film packs a strong storyline but is, at times, hard to follow

Susan Ramsay |

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China’s sci-fi blockbuster, Wandering Earth, packs a storyline with all the ferociousness of a signal 10 typhoon – that goes on a smidge too long.

The story, adapted from a novella, is a cool twist on a sci-fi doomsday story. Earth is dying and the solution is to boost Earth out of orbit and into another solar system.

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Things begin to go wrong when Earth is about to pass Jupiter, and becomes entangled in the gas giant’s gravitational pull.

Up on the International Space Station is Liu Peiqiang, played by Wolf Warrior star Wu Jing. He keeps track of Earth’s progress past Jupiter. Far below the planet’s surface, where people have to live these days, is his son, Liu Qi, and his father-in-law, Han Zi’ang (Ng Man-tat).

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Han has adopted a girl, Duoduo (Zhao Jinmai). Lui Qi (Qu Chuxiao) takes Duoduo out on an illicit trip to the “surface”, and it isn’t long before they get sucked into the mission to save humanity.

The storyline is, at times, hard to follow – which is not helped by poor subtitles. It is also a bit too thirsty for the audience’s emotions.

Still, we wouldn’t miss this film. It’s got Chinese people saving the world for once, and Chinese values playing out on the big screen. Yes, it’s flawed, but it’s still a great space adventure in its own right.

Disclaimer: This film is co-produced by Alibaba Pictures, a subsidiary of Alibaba, which owns the South China Morning Post.