[Herald Review] ‘Moon Man’ follows familiar plot, adds romantic twist
Published : Jan 4, 2023 - 14:26
Updated : Feb 20, 2023 - 15:56
“Moon Man” (Studio DHL)

“Moon Man,” a Chinese sci-fi comedy film which was adapted from the Korean webtoon “Moon You” by Cho Seok, follows the original’s familiar plot of a stranded survivor, but takes a unique turn that different generations can enjoy.

Sticking to the webtoon storyline, “Moon Man,” centers on Dugu Yue, played by Chinese comedy star Shen Teng, who is accidentally stranded in a lunar research facility after an asteroid destroys Earth and believes he is the last man alive.

Although he is left alone inside the facility with ample resources and food to survive --figuring no one will come to rescue him -- he decides to fix a lunar probe which was left there a long time ago.

Despite technical glitches, a lunar research team which survived the devastating attack on Earth manages to receive real-time footage of Dugu inside the research facility. The team decides to air, in real time, Dugu’s life on the moon. His struggle for survival on “The Truman Show”-like broadcast makes the people left on Earth see him as a new symbol and hero, and the last hope for humanity.

The cinematic remake has added an element of romance. In the film, Dugu fails to board the last evacuation rocket -- and gets himself in such a predicament -- because he was writing a love letter to his commander Ma Lanxing (Ma Li).

The movie is more than just another comedy flick, as this solo space adventure also explores themes such as the desperation of humanity, dilemmas and heroism.

It is also an example of a well-made comedy flick that has a solid storyline enhanced by high-quality computer graphics and special effects.

Starring comedy megastars Shen Teng and Ma Li, as well as an impressive computer-generated imagery space kangaroo, the characters are likable and jokes are not predictable. Leaving out the wry humor of the original webtoon, “Moon Man” offers many moments of laughter and emotional scenes.

“Moon Man” (Studio DHL)

The film’s realistic-looking sets and backdrops were thanks to a whopping 10.9 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) investment from various Chinese film production companies. Some 600 staffers worked on devising visual effects technology and computer graphics and a total of 15 studio sets were used for shooting, one as large as 6,000 square meters.

The film, which opened last year in China, made 3.1 billion yuan at the Chinese box office. It became the second-highest grossing film that year and 14th of all time in China. More than 70 million people watched the film last year. The film was also the 10th most-watched movie at theaters.

“Moon Man” hits local theaters on Jan. 11.

By Kim Da-sol (ddd@heraldcorp.com)