The Wandering Earth II takes a sci-fi blockbuster in a stranger, darker direction

To successfully imitate the kind of mega-budget worldwide blockbuster most closely associated with Hollywood productions, filmmaker Frant Gwo literally went global. 2019’s The Wandering Earth, a sci-fi disaster adventure that became one of China’s biggest-ever box-office hits, takes place in a future world where Earth has been implanted with thrust rockets and piloted out of orbit to avoid a solar disaster. Astronauts must steer the spaceship-planet to a new home, while the surface freezes and its diminished inhabitants huddle underground.

The film’s enormous scope helped the movie become a Chinese smash, though it fell short of a worldwide phenomenon. (In the U.S., it had a limited theatrical run, then premiered on Netflix a few
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