The Great Wall Movie Review
Words by Kathryn Robertson
The Great Wall is a massive international production combining both Chinese and Hollywood film industries to create a huge and stupid monster movie.
Matt Damon stars as a warrior of mysterious origin who has travelled from Europe to China and picked up a buddy (Pedro Pascal) along the way. One night they are attacked by an unseen beast, with only a scaly claw lopped off by Damon’s sword left behind as proof. When they are discovered by a massive Chinese army led by Zhang Hanyu, Jing Tian, and Andy Lau, they survive only because they have that claw in their possession. You see, that claw belongs to a collection of monsters who blatantly symbolize human greed, and attack China every 60 years (that’s why they built the wall, apparently). The claw means the latest attack is coming a bit early and now Damon finds himself in the middle of a good old-fashioned monster mash.
The massive battle scenes are impressive, and director Zhang Yimou (“Hero,” “House of Flying Daggers”) doesn’t skimp with the size or scope of his vision. Its imaginative stuff, but the scenes in between the battles grind the enterprise to a halt. The dialogue is so stilted that it’s shocking it was written by Hollywood veterans, and not poorly translated. Simply put, The Great Wall is the best possible movie about medieval monster battles on The Great Wall Of China starring Matt Damon. This thing was never going to be art, but at least it’s beautifully made and gloriously entertaining garbage. That’s rare a beast worth celebrating for genre nuts.
2017 | US CHINA | DIR: Zhang Yimou | CAST: Matt Damon, Jing Tiang, Willem Dafoe | DISTRIBUTOR: Universal | RUNNING TIME: 103 minutes |