The Wandering Earth 2 is a Chinese science fiction action film based on a short story by Liu Cixin. The sun is quickly expanding and will eventually consume Earth within a century. All nations band together under the United Earth Government (UEG); the Moving Mountain Project in order to build engines that will propel Earth away from the sun. After authorising the construction of the engines, the UEG bans the Digital Life Project (DLP). This radical organisation believes digital immortality is a more viable option and the DLP wreaks havoc with protests and terrorist attacks, attempting to thwart the Moving Mountain Project.
In 2044, the DLP attacks the space elevator intending to destroy the Ark Space Station, which supplies the test engines under construction on the moon. Trainee astronauts Liu Peiqiang (Wu Jing) and Han Duoduo (Wang Shi) help stop the attack, but the space elevator is still destroyed. Following the attack, the Moving Mountain Project is jeopardised, so the UEG quickly moves to show that the lunar engines work. When the engine tests go well, the construction of the Earth engines goes full steam ahead, and the project is renamed to Wandering Earth Project. After a former DLP scientist, Tu Hengyu (Andy Lau), uploads his deceased daughter’s consciousness, coincidentally, the lunar engines explode mere minutes afterwards, propelling the moon towards Earth.
While the number “2” is in the film’s title, this isn’t a sequel; it’s a prequel to 2019’s Wandering Earth. Wandering Earth 2 didn’t require any knowledge of the first film, which was great, because I hadn’t seen it. Of course, some context may have helped when various characters were introduced, like Liu Peiqiang, the main protagonist in Wandering Earth. I just went with it and judged how vital a character was by the audience’s reaction in the theater.
This film was a long one at 2 hours and 50 minutes, but the film was jam-packed and covered a few decades. There was one disaster after another, and the pace rarely slowed down. It also ramped up anticipation, for me, at least, when I saw the various countdowns to impending doom. It’s a sci-fi, dystopian disaster fest, and ultimately, entertaining. I liked that it was fast-paced and that the story kept progressing.
It’s only natural to compare this film to others of a similar nature, like Armageddon. So yes, it was full of tropes, but it worked for me. I was impressed with the visuals of the moon; sometimes, it can look too fake, like in Ad Astra. The CGI overall was solid, and nothing was glaringly off-putting.
This doesn’t impact my score, but the dubbing was super off for the English-speaking characters. It was enough actually to be distracting in some cases. The subtitles were pretty good; I only found a few typos throughout the film.
Even if Wandering Earth 2 had been a sequel, I would have seen it because I’m always up for a sci-fi film. Luckily, my local Regal was one of the lucky 125 screens this film showed in the USA on Lunar New Year. I enjoyed the movie and didn’t mind sitting for nearly three hours. Critics haven’t been too kind to the film, and are overall mixed, but if you like disaster sci-fi and don’t mind reading subtitles, I recommend it.
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I’m a Data Analyst, from the land of Matthew McConaughey. I’m an avid movie-goer and love seeing films in theaters. My most recent favorite films are Good Time, Only Lovers Left Alive, TENET, and England is Mine. When I’m not at the movies, I’m either reading or watching obscene amount of true crime and historical documentaries.