Movie Review: Sci-Fi Epic 'The Wandering Earth' Is China's Answer To 'Armageddon'

China's No.1 homegrown movie of 2019 (so far) arrives on Netflix.

The Wandering Earth (PG13)

Starring Wu Jing, Qu Chuxiao, Li Guangjie

Directed by Frant Gwo

The first thing you notice about China’s No.1 homegrown flick of 2019 — with nearly US$700 million (S$853 mil) in the coffers — is the sheer number of companies behind it: 22. Twenty-frigging-two

It seems fitting for an epic about all of humanity pooling their resources to save Earth from being devoured by an expanding Sun. The solution: Propel Earth out of the solar system using 10,000 stellar engines, including one in Singapore! (Wonder what Neil deGrasse Tyson would make of the science, though.) 

The story is built with spare parts of Armageddon, The Day After Tomorrow and Space Battleship Yamato, but its apocalyptic visual effects are pretty impressive (though the grandeur of created-for-IMAX sequences is diminished on the small screen). All that's missing is an Aerosmith power ballad. 

Wolf Warrior’s Wu Jing plays a navigator trying to save the ambitious exodus project in space while repairing the estranged relationship with his children back on Earth.  The movie isn’t cheery but it does end on a hopeful, let’s-set-aside-our-differences-and-work-together note.  In Mandarin with English and Chinese subtitles. On Netflix. (***) 

Photo: Netflix

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