I can’t say this is a good movie. It has a nonsensical plot (you really can’t get that far from the sun…cold is not the only problem!), unmemorable characters, and mediocre dialog. Still, it is interesting. You see two hours of the Chinese building all sorts of big infrastructure, and imagining their future as world leader. They show Shanghai in ruins, for the first time ever in a Chinese movie. You see that even Chinese directors have been influenced by the 1969 Hollywood movie Marooned, a sign that Chinese world leadership is a bit further away than they may like to think. On the brighter side, it has many more striking visual shots than you would find in almost any Hollywood movie today. It is one of the biggest grossing films in Chinese history.
The movie is basically a retelling of some of the earlier parts of Genesis. The Chinese do in fact succeed in building the Tower of Babel, both physically and linguistically. They survive that which is analogous to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. They thwart the Noah’s Ark plan, reject the notion of their own intrinsic sinfulness, and save the remainder of humanity. It is the Chinese Christ figure who sacrifices himself to achieve the happy ending, thereby overturning what might be understood to be the will of God. By the end of the movie the Chinese can indeed “do anything.”
How’s that for thinking big?