The Wandering Earth review: A massive epic about humanity

Photo Credit: Netflix
Photo Credit: Netflix /

The Wandering Earth, now on Netflix, is a Chinese science fiction epic with humanity at stake. It’s well worth investing your time into.

Director Frant Gwo makes The Wandering Earth a memorable romp in the disaster genre. It’s unapologetic with its absolutely crazy premise, simply letting it play out so that you’re either on board with what’s ahead, or you’re looking for a way off.

The Wandering Earth centers on Earth no longer being a viable home at its current location, and so thrusters are placed at various posts on the planet to push Earth toward a new home in the solar system. But as always, things don’t always go as planned, and a team must race to save the planet and its people as they barrel toward devastation.

That sounds crazy, and it is. But there’s a grounding to the movie through the characters and their relationships. Some work much better than others, but the camaraderie and enthusiasm the cast put into the movie really helps bolster the non-action scenes.

The movie has this strange, goofy tone at times, offbeat character moments that can clash with the seriousness of something that happened only a moment or two before. At other moments, though, it fits and adds some personality to some of the supporting players.

The scale is incredible, from its gorgeous visual style to the action playing out on-screen. A huge transport-type truck drives through collapsing mountains, planets threaten to collide and astronauts make impossible jumps as debris flies around them. These all add up to its director Frant Gwo playing out disaster sequences with downright impressive shots for what he can fill the screen with.

The visuals are what keep the movie working the most, full of gorgeous eye candy. The destruction is near-endless but never loses its power from overuse.

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The movie relies on a brute force mentality to solve a lot of the major problems, which is a funny way to fix things of huge importance. It makes its science fiction work by leaving it in the hands of the people to fix the problems, using their intelligence and their teamwork to solve anything in their way to survive.

The Wandering Earth brings high energy to it’s every moment, as the action is driven by the survival of humanity itself. It’s a tall order, to place the fate of the world on a ragtag group, but the movie works by keeping its sense of fun.

The Wandering Earth works as a huge sci-fi action film but suffers from some dullness in some characters. A few have huge personalities, but they can feel like they belong in a different movie or can be too broad for what’s happening on-screen. Others, unfortunately, don’t have much beyond their angst or their anger, leaving a little more to be desired.

And some of the major action sequences seem to almost struggle with their frame rate, as though the computer processing the CG could not keep up with what’s happening on-screen. It’s incredibly rare, though, and does not hurt any of the big moments.

But all the same, if you’re looking for a big, fun movie to watch, look no further than The Wandering Earth. There’s more than enough here to keep it exciting.

The Wandering Earth is currently available globally on Netflix.

What did you think of the movie? Let us know in the comments!

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