上海堡壘 (Shanghai Fortress) (Netflix) is the second major sci-fi movie from China. This movie flopped and the reviews are universally bad. Even the official newspaper condemned it, saying it loses the face of Chinese. The director and the writer of the original novel it based on issued public apologies.
Mankind takes / steals energy crystals from outside Earth, so aliens invade all the cities that store those crystals. It is up to the military base at Shanghai to defend Earth against the alien attacks and their mothership. All this sounds pretty standard, but many details are incomprehensible or illogical. At some point in the movie, some problem with a sci-fi weapon occurs, then somebody comes up with an arbitrary solution that has no basis that has been established before. Therefore nothing in it is believable, let alone someone that the audience watched dying but he shows up in the next scene.
Worse it tries to infuse the plot with romance that does not work. (Reportedly the original novel emphasized the romance in an alien invasion background.) In the early part of the movie, the flow of the movie is frequently interrupted by transitioning between small scale alien attacks and worthless drama among the characters. The director even blamed the casting of the male lead – I think shifting responsibility this way is really bad, and the male lead’s acting skill, however limited, is not the primary flaws of this movie.
I have watched many alien invasion movies. Ignoring the factor of relatively high budget it has (by Chinese standard), this movie is not the worst of its kind. In spite of its far too many serious flaws, there is one idea or two that has merit. I would try to be fair and rate this merely below average.