Frant Gwo’s film “The Wandering Earth”, released in 2019, depicts a dystopia in which the Earth is in danger and is pushed out into space. Your income proves it.
The movie was entertaining enough, but it had a hollow sheen to its ambitious scope. This was partly because the drama of the story wasn’t based on anything beyond flashy cataclysms. Its fearless sequel, The Wandering Earth II, seemed to sprint in an entirely different direction, with caution and no purpose. Losing all the joy of its predecessor, the film offers nearly three hours of convoluted storylines, undercooked themes, and a tangle of confusing and overtly state-sanctioned political subtext.
Boasting a bigger budget and bigger expectations — Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau has been added to the cast — “Wandering Earth II” is narratively a prequel. It takes place several years before the events of the film and focuses on the Federal Earth Government’s initial efforts to expel Earth from the solar system, a move aimed at averting a planetary disaster. It sets up flimsy ideas about dystopian geopolitics, man versus machine, and the nature of human consciousness (partly inspired by the first film’s 2001: A Space Odyssey/evil HAL 9000 imitation plot). as a backstory).
This is all just the first hour of setup, before the movie fast-forwards to the next conflict, years after humanity needs to nuke the moon. A good story idea didn’t get in the way of a good time in the first film. It’s hard, but after this sequel journeys through its armful of melodramatic plotlines and conspicuously nationalistic messages, I hope you’ve had some heartless fun for the first time.
Wandering Earth II
Unrated. Mandarin with subtitles. Running time: 2 hours 53 minutes. at the theater.