Battlefield: Fall of the World (2022) Review
Battlefield: Fall of The World (战地：异种浩劫, Battlefield: Alien Cataclysm) is set in 2042 after Earth has been invaded by aliens looking to steal our water. To try and defeat them the countries of the world combined their militaries. But as one character tells us in the opening minutes, the only army left is the Chinese. And by the end of the prologue even they’ve been defeated.
One of the survivors, a deserter named Cheng Ling (Zhang Zhi Lu, Missing Persons, The First Myth: Clash of Gods) has survived by scavenging and selling scrap electronics. He eventually falls in with Gao Ren (Ren Tian Ye, Bloodbath in the Nameless River, The War of Werewolf) and his team.
They’re on their way to the stronghold of General McKay, one of the last holdouts against the aliens. They persuade him, via an electronic implant in his neck, to serve as their guide. Along the way, they rescue Dr. Pam Doji (Choenyi Tsering, Lop Nar Mysterious Event, Lost in Mobius) who has found a way to kill the aliens. But can they stay alive long enough to put her discovery to use? Can you stay awake long enough to find out?
Even by the low standards of Chinese CGI epics Battlefield: Fall of the World is weak. The opening scenes of Cheng Ling’s chopper getting shot down on his way to his first battle are cut and pasted from several much better war films. Even worse, they’re staged with so little energy that the CGI is the second worst thing about them.
That continues after he hits the ground and we see the aliens. They look like something out of Resident Evil, only with CGI that makes them look worse than the creatures Milla Jovovich faced back in 2002. There are also the usual bad CGI muzzle flashes and even worse, scenes where the characters are supposed to be firing their weapons but they didn’t bother to add the flashes.
Much of Battlefield: Fall of the World is a rather dull trek across the desert where the biggest threat is a gang of looters. We see exactly one alien, or Hellhound as they call them, on the journey. That leads to a restaging of the gas tanker scene from Terminator that looks worse than the one in Hong Kong’s Heroic Trio despite it being made thirty years ago. I guess decent CGI is one bit of technology the Chinese haven’t managed to steal yet.
Writer/director Huang Zhao Sheng (Huge Shark, Sniper) seems to have had no clue how to construct or stage a film like Battlefield: Fall of the World. It feels as though he simply took scenes from various Hollywood productions and strung them together with no regard for logic, pacing, or the budget’s ability to pay for them.
Nowhere is this more apparent than when they reach their destination which, no surprise, is actually an alien base. They find McKay in a stasis chamber that looks like it was left over from a Gothic horror film and apparently three of the creatures staffing the whole facility.
Just for good measure they even throw in coincidences such as Gao Ren turning out to not only have been Cheng Ling’s commanding officer but to have seen him bolt after they got their asses kicked. Or touching moments such as Ren’s stoically recounting the story of the aliens attacking the hospital as he held his infant daughter for the first and last time. Unfortunately, it’s delivered so poorly that it sounds more like he dropped the baby and ran.
Throw in a huge dose of Chinese nationalism in a film that repeatedly claims to be about the nations of the world trading nationalism for cooperation and you have a near-perfect storm of suckage.
Battlefield: Fall of the World is available free to watch on Youku’s YouTube channel.