Not Three Body Problem but one of Liu Cixin's short stories is coming out into theaters!
Guess that makes Wu Jing the box office king of China.So I watched The Wandering Earth today.
I'm very impressed. The visual effects, cinematography and the sound effects/design and music were very good, and on par with other blockbusters of this scale from Hollywood. I've read that something like 75% of the special effects were done by Chinese studios as well, which surprised me.
The high concept sci-fi of Liu's original short story are very much still there but they wisely introduce characters and plot devices that make an adaptation of his short story a viable movie.
I'd describe it as halfway between armageddon and interstellar but in many ways more high concept than either.
There are a few pacing issues and a few plot holes or plot devices that weren't well explained, but the overall story was very solid and made the world feel very lived in. The characters weren't all fleshed out but everyone served their purpose very adequately and given the ensemble of people to take note of I think they did fairly well.. The scale of what was depicted felt breathtaking, and does the original concept of earth engines full justice.
I also appreciated the international theme and background of the plot. Without going into spoilers, while the movie focuses on Chinese characters, the sheer size of the global effort involved of many, many different nations. Characters of different backgrounds were shown speaking their mother tongue, which was also a very good decision. The movie does show Chinese characters saving the day yes, but the characters in the film were just one of many similar groups around the world of different nations struggling and contributing equally to the same goal, so it's far from the kind of "yeah go China!" tone from something like Wolf Warrior 2.
TWE has a very good chance of igniting sci-fi as a popular film genre that domestic Chinese film makers can pursue, and it is a great start for the first serious attempt at a blockbuster, high concept sci fi from China in its history.
China's film industry aside, TWE at its core is still a very good sci fi blockbuster that can stand on its own two legs, and if you like the action sci fi genre I think TWE offers some new breathtaking concepts previously unexplored, while also portraying some existing antecedent ideas in a fresh manner, wrapped with a plot that moves at a gripping pace.
I haven't watched it yet, so I could be wrong, but let me make some guesses for fun.- Minor nitpick: the space shots of Earth depict it as the classic blue marble, but if everything is frozen, shouldn't it really be a uniform white?
- Minor nitpick #2: if Lao Han is from Shanghai, why doesn't he speak with a Shanghai accent?