Although the film Shanghai Fortress which featured popular names like Luhan and Shu Qi seemingly had what it took to become a blockbuster hit, it turned into a commercial disaster that received much criticism from moviegoers. The movie’s writer and director apologized and there was even the issue of the director saying that Luhan wasn’t right for the role.
During the recently held China Science Fiction Convention 2019, well-known science fiction author Liu Cixin came to speak his mind about Shanghai Fortress. He said, “art is not born out of one project nor will it die because of it.” Referencing the blockbuster hit The Wandering Earth, Liu Cixin commented that expectations have become very high for sci-fi movies.
He further added that Shanghai Fortress did not deserve the Douban rating of 3. It was a normal sci-fi movie and not as bad as netizens made it out to be. He pointed out the tendency for low ratings to get more people to put even lower ratings and considers it abnormal. In that sense, Liu Cixin feels that Shanghai Fortress is a victim.
To be honest, I’m actually guilty of that. I didn’t want to see Shanghai Fortress despite liking Luhan because I was swayed by the negative comments. But one boring day with nothing else to watch on Netflix, I gave it a try. Admittedly, it wasn’t great but it wasn’t so bad. It’s just a so-so movie that could have gotten at least a 5 or 6 in ratings for me. Liu Cixin added that making movies like The Wandering Earth and Shanghai Fortress are essential for the industry to build experience and I second that. One hit can be a guide while one flop can be a point of learning.