As humanity faces the end of its existence due to the death of the sun, a plan is enacted that will save the planet – the Wandering Earth project, which involves moving the moon out of Earth gravitational pull and then, using 10,000 thrusters, push Earth out of orbit and into a new Solar System.
At the same time this project is occurring, an alternative metaverse project dubbed “The Digital Life” is being developed, in where all human consciousness is uploaded into a server where a digital instance of that person will live forever.
We follow three main story arcs – Liu Peiqiang from the first movie, who is an acclaimed astronaut working on the Wandering Earth project, Tu Hengyu played by Andy Lau who is a researcher for the Digital Life project who faces a moral dilemma in trying to preserve the memory of his dead daughter Yaya, and Zhou Zhezhi and his assistance Xiaoyi, who are the Chinese representatives in the United Earth Government forum who fight to ensure the success of the Wandering Earth project.
The movie follows the two or so decades before the commencement of the first movie, leading up to the construction of the Earth Engines, the development of the sophisticated AI that runs everything, the construction of the Underground cities and all the terrorist disasters that occur before the Wandering Earth project is enacted.
The first thing you’re going to want to know is if this is a good film? Well it is, but it does come with a few massive caveats. For full enjoyment, this movie should really be experienced in the cinema on a giant screen. Like the first film, watching at home on a TV – regardless of the size – won’t do any justice to the film.
The movie is an utter spectacle, make no mistake about that. Cohesion of the story line and quite a lot of logic are put on the back foot, as action set pieces, explosions and lots of quick science adjacent talk take place to bamboozle the audience.
This movie really does put the “fiction” in the genre “science fiction”. But then the idea of moving the Earth out of orbit using thrusters powered by a finite number for rocks for 2500 years would always borderline on the more fantastical part of science fiction. This is pure sci-fi, so if you’re a junkie for this style, then this movie has you covered.
If it could be likened to anything, perhaps shades of Day After Tomorrow and other big Hollywood environmental disaster blockbusters of the early naughties are the closest similarities. Since Hollywood stopped making movies like that, it good to see someone else take over.
Genre Sci-Fi Action
Director Frant Gwo
Starring Wu Jing, Andy Lau
Original Title 流浪地球2
Country of Origin China
Release Date January 22 2023
Alternative Title The Wandering Earth Ⅱ