“Walking on the Moon”, not enough comedy or science fiction

"The ground was wiped clean and I was left behind."

The earth is destroyed in front of you, you are the last human being in the universe, but you are not Matt Damon of "The Martian", you don't need to think about how to grow potatoes, the rations of the moon base are enough for you to eat for a lifetime, and loneliness and nothingness engulf you …

Oh, no, there is also a red kangaroo with you, provided that you hold it a few times, and then call it a brother.

Replace this "you" with Shen Teng, is this a comedy or a tragedy?

"Lonely Walking on the Moon" is adapted from the work of the same name by the Korean cartoonist Zhao Shi. It is the result of Happy Twist's first attempt at a sci-fi comedy. "Shen Ma Group" co-starred in a feature film after seven years. Director Zhang Chiyu was the highest-grossing film before. It's "Shy Iron Fist".

The popularity and controversy are flying together, but the performance of "Lone on the Moon" is not bad, with over 100 million points at the box office, 300 million in the first day of its release, 1 billion in three days, and 1.3 billion in the current box office. Douban scored 7.3 (now down 7.3). to 6.9).

Going back to the movie itself, is "Lone on the Moon" any good?

(Note: The following contains spoilers)

The nostalgia of the last human

The story takes place in 2033. In order to protect the earth, humans deployed the "Moon Shield Project" on the moon, using the moon as a shield to resist asteroid impacts. The asteroid π arrives ahead of schedule, and the lunar team is evacuated in an emergency. The maintenance worker Duguyue (Shen Teng) confessed to the team leader Ma Lanxing (Ma Li) because of the drill, missed the notice of landing the arrow, and became the only human left behind on the moon, and the team communication was also interrupted.

Dodging the meteorite rain that hit the moon and seeing the asteroid π hit the earth, Duguyue thought that the earth was destroyed (heavily damaged but not destroyed), and she was not only the moon but also the last human being in the universe. Be a pair of "brothers" who share weal and woe with the kangaroo "Gangzi".

Without Duguyue's knowledge, his lunar life was broadcast live. Because there are only video images without sound, the official used commentary to establish the heroic image of Duguyue, giving hope to the people of the earth who rebuild their homes. Many "social death scenes" have made Duguyue a comedian. After he recognizes the status quo and tries his best to live, he has a heroic temperament.

In the end, on the way back to the earth, in order to destroy the large meteorite π+ left by the asteroid π and the earth could not bear, Duguyue pushed the nuclear bomb and died together with π+, and really became a hero.

The film focuses on two themes. One is Duguyue, an ordinary person who calls himself a "middleman". He was first portrayed as a hero, then returned to ordinary people under the camera, and finally became a real hero, both small and great.

Second, before the common disaster and under different circumstances, the lonely individual and the depressed collective accompany and rescue each other. Of course, the two themes also echo each other.

In terms of plot, the film retains the main line of the original work, lacking elements such as religion and war, and parallels science fiction and comedy elements, and has carried out certain localization adaptations, especially some mythological metaphors.

On the way to the Changcun Lake base to pick up the engine, in order to use the solar energy to drive the lunar rover, Duguyue drove the lunar rover to chase the sun based on the speed of the moon relative to the sun, and extended the day in disguise, giving a sense of sight of Kuafu chasing the sun.

▲ Picture from: "ET"

And when the sun goes down, the lunar rover loses power, and the kangaroo pulls the sleigh and takes Duguyue to jump over the big crater. This scene is extremely romantic, like Chang'e flying to the moon, like Santa driving a reindeer car across the moon, and like the boy in "ET" Fly in front of the moon with little aliens on bicycles. It's just that in "Lonely Walking on the Moon", the background is changed to the earth.

Despite many moments of hope and despair, Duguyue's greatest wish is still to "go home".

The opposite of "going home" is the loneliness of "the last human being". Unfortunately, this part is not rendered enough. Maybe it is the comic temperament of Duguyue, or it may be because of the company of kangaroos, but there are a few plots that are better.

At first, when the earth was thought to be destroyed, Duguyue set up a spiritual platform at the window facing the earth; later, before deciding to commit suicide again, Duguyue built a monument for herself to record the last human on the earth; the second half of the film appeared repeatedly, the cover of "Country" "The Road Home" by Roads"; when the sun goes down, the lunar rover loses its temperature, and a huge sense of desolation strikes in the dark…

In the prehistoric universe, human beings and the earth are only a drop in the ocean. Duguyue laughed at himself that "one person can feed the whole world without being hungry", and even emphasized that he "has no relatives or friends", but he can't let go of the nostalgia of the universe level. Returning to the homeland of the earth is still his obsession and even his motivation to survive.

It is very interesting that Duguyue sacrificed to save the earth, and the kangaroo returned to the earth safely, but in the end, a monument to the kangaroo was erected. Although human beings commemorate Duguyue and accelerated the construction of the earth-moon ferry rocket, the moon base is full of his. trace. This seems to dispel the previous hero image, and while it is absurd, I think this is not bad.

Just like Duguyue's emphasis on being a "middleman", he is an ordinary person with a low sense of existence. He is in the middle of all indicators from stature to performance. He eventually died and turned into a star ring around the earth. Between the earth and the moon, there is no need for more monument.

The sentence he said to Ma Lanxing, "This is the only way to save you and you", may be a little gentleness of the director, the intertwining of family and national feelings and personal feelings, making him a "half-handed" hero with flesh and blood.

A sci-fi comedy

Since it is a sci-fi comedy, we should talk about it from two aspects: sci-fi and comedy.

As a movie produced by Happy Twist, "Lonely Walking on the Moon" has a lot of comedy effects, but it is not particularly dense. In the second half, you can't laugh at all. Most of the burdens are a little boring, such as drinking boiling water with an expressionless face, burning your throat, accidentally sitting in a wheelchair Falling down the steps, pretending to be a female kangaroo and playing a beauty trick on Gangzi…

The only hilarious point of the show I was in was that when the live broadcast first started, no one thought that there was a kangaroo instead of a person in front of the camera. The fast-talking anchor dubbed it "What a day full of vitality", and the rest of the time was Scattered laughter.

As a sci-fi film, is "Lone on the Moon" enough?

Visually, 95% of the shots of the whole film involve special effects, which are completed by the domestic special effects company MORE VFX, and the look and feel is no worse than "The Wandering Earth". The latter has more than 2,000 special effects shots, 75% of which are made in China and completed by 6 special effects companies. One of the main production teams is MORE VFX.

Not only the special effects team, but "Lone on the Moon" also inherited the six-axis platform device used in "The Wandering Earth" to simulate the bumps of the lunar rover during its travel. Domestic science fiction films have a preliminary appearance of "facilitators" in the field of industrial technology.

With technology, there is also the "clumsy" of real shooting. The crew built a 100% real moon base, using 15 studios with a total of more than 40,000 square meters. In order to simulate the real lunar dust, there is still an area of ​​​​200 tons of sand and gravel are specially laid in the 6,000-square-meter studio.

In addition, Kangaroo Gangzi's "performance" is vivid and lifelike. The image is similar to the muscular Australian Internet celebrity Roger Roger. Its appearance is completed by the combination of real-life motion capture and special effects. The actor behind it is Hao Han, who is happy.

But from the point of view of the setting, there are still many flaws.

The Moon Shield team was evacuated in an emergency to avoid the meteorite, but Duguyue was safe after the meteorite attack; Duguyue was kicked away by a kangaroo, leaving two light marks on her stomach, but she was still alive and kicking; in order to show that the earth was not destroyed, people used flashlights, searchlights, etc. Lighting up the sky not only allows Duguyue on the moon to see the light, but also spells out a complete sentence tacitly…

Maybe this is the protagonist's halo, or what is needed to advance the plot.

No matter the comedy elements in the movie, or the sci-fi setting, there is some feeling of "no top, no bottom", not to the point of stunning four, but there are basically all the things that should be there, the integrity of the story is preserved, and the Douban score is 6.9. also proves this.

In an interview with Beijing Youth Daily, when asked how to grasp the degree of comedy and science fiction, director Zhang Chiyu replied:

Science fiction is a shell, and what is inside is actually decided by us. For example, we have a bowl, which may look very futuristic, but it contains rice that you can usually eat.

"Rice in a futuristic bowl", some of the movie's scenes really give people such a feeling. The audience understands why they do this, but they don't have to go into the rationality. It is difficult to compare the success rate of the Moon Shield project, why the asteroid suddenly struck, and why the scientists had no warning when it struck the second time.

Of course, there are times when it's boring to hard-correct. Song Mingwei, associate professor of the East Asian Department of Wellesley College in the United States, once pointed out:

Scientific flaws in science fiction are more of a question of right and wrong, but it is not an imitation of reality, but the construction of a heterotopia, an alternative mirror image of reality constructed from the structure of logic and feeling… than It depends on whether its scientific knowledge is wrong, and more importantly, whether the world it builds is self-consistent.

However, the "self-consistency" of "Lonely Walking on the Moon" was completed in one routine after another. π+ appeared just when Duguyue returned to the space station. This is also the reason why Duguyue's heroic sacrifice was finally made, and netizens complained about the comedy and sensationalism.

▲ Director Zhang Chiyu.

At the same time, although the scenes pay attention to real-life construction and the special effects are also very serious, the comic genes, comedy elements and exaggerated performances make "Lone on the Moon" less realistic, which is also the effect the director hopes to achieve.

Zhang Chiyu himself is an anime fan, and was attracted by the absurd comedy of the original comics, so he decided to put this story on the screen. For him, this is an interesting "comic" story that he has always wanted to shoot.

The sci-fi themes paved by predecessors and the comedy genre just needed by the market, "Walking to the Moon" is more like a comedy with sci-fi seasonings. eschatological anxiety.

Looking for domestic sci-fi outside of "Wandering Earth" and "Walking on the Moon Alone"

"The Wandering Earth" is mentioned once in "Lonely Walking on the Moon", and the two films do have subtle commonalities, especially the choice of the protagonist at the end.

Similar to Kuafu's day by day in "Walking on the Moon", "Wandering Earth" "Wandering with the Earth" has the core of Yugong moving mountains. In the redemption of the last days, it points to the feelings of the Chinese people's homeland and homeland.

However, after the "Wandering Earth" in the Spring Festival in 2019, it seems that there is no domestic sci-fi movie that is well-received and popular.

"Crazy Alien", which is in the same period as "Wandering Earth", is adapted from "Rural Teacher" by Liu Cixin. The grand cosmic narrative in the original is intertwined with the fate of rural teachers on the fringes of society, but the film itself is a black comedy and earthy sci-fi in the style of Ning Hao. It takes the original shell to make its own story, and satirizes class concepts, cultural differences, and nationalism. Sex, etc., the box office was 2.2 billion but the word of mouth was mixed.

Needless to say, "Shanghai Fortress" released in August 2019, Douban 2.9, is a pseudo sci-fi true romance, but sci-fi and love are different.

The recently released "Mozart in Outer Space" has a double box-office reputation, with the labels of science fiction, comedy, and family, but it is not a science fiction film. .

Then there is "Lonely Walking on the Moon", adapted from a Korean comic, which is considered qualified in terms of ratings and evaluations.

Science fiction discusses a myriad of possibilities for the future, but it is also tied to the times. Others believe that science fiction is not really about the future, but about the present.

▲ Picture from: "Black Planet"

At the end of the 1974 American sci-fi movie "Black Planet", the astronaut talks about life and existentialism with the conscious bomb, persuading it to dispel the idea of ​​​​exploding. Die confused and romantically, or embrace the phoenix planet, or use the wreckage of a spaceship as a board for a cosmic surfing, going to a complete psychedelic and absurd, echoing the hippie trend of the time.

And "Walking on the Moon" tells a cruel and tender story. Ma Lanxing knew that "no one should be sacrificed", but she still gave up Duguyue twice; Duguyue only knew that she had been broadcast live for several months after the communication was restored, just smiled silently, and then accepted the status quo, the moon The version of "The Truman World" did not go dark in the end.

If we want to briefly summarize the mentality of the whole film Duguyue, it starts with the broken cans and falls, then to the unresolved loneliness and desolation, then the ecstasy of returning to human society after the restoration of communication, and finally to the grand narrative and saving mankind.

In the future, domestic sci-fi may be able to get rid of routines and have more imagination.

Science fiction writer Han Song once said:

China has been a big agricultural country for a long time, and the real and sustained sci-fi boom is relatively late. The inspiration that Western science fiction has taught us is that the type of creation should be more inclusive, the imagination should be more liberated, the frontier development of science and technology should be closely followed, the most difficult problems for human beings should be faced head-on, and the spirit of fearlessness should be used to challenge the rules set by the predecessor. , they are not necessarily all correct.

▲ Picture from: "2001 A Space Odyssey"

"2001: A Space Odyssey" is immersed in the "eternal silence of infinite space", Rick in "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" seems to be Sisyphus caught in the question of the meaning of life, "The Martian" shows a straightforward How astronauts solve problems in survival and return home.

Science fiction is all-encompassing. It can not only discuss the grandeur of cosmic civilization and human destiny, but also explore oneself inwardly, be full of emotions under a hard-core shell, and even be just meaningless and absurd. Looking forward to seeing more and more exciting domestic sci-fi movies on the screen.

Li Ruoqiuhuang, to exorcise evil. Working email: [email protected]

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