The Great Wall

6 Overall Score
Performance: 7/10
Aesthetics: 9/10
Storytelling: 5/10

Aesthetics, attention to detail, and organization was impressive.

Not memorable, quite predictable, and some parts unnecessary.

The Great Wall
  Matt Damon, Tian Jing, Willem Dafoe
Universal/Legendary
2017

The Great Wall starring Matt Damon was impressive in its look, but the predictable story telling is pretty much a spin on any film that has a massive amount of CGI monsters, the Tao Tei. The only difference is was the fact it was a take on Chinese legend. The movie also starred Game of Throne’s Pedro Pascal who played his loyal, but greedy brother in arms.

The movie was directed by Zhang Yimou and is most well known by westerners for his opening ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics.

Jing Tian plays an impressive role as part of The Great Wall’s leader of the Crane Corps, she’ll also be starring in the Pacific Rim sequel as well as Kong: Skull Island coming out next month. You have to admit, she does have finesse in her choreography. Her interactions with Damon’s character was done pretty nicely as her character, Commander Lin Mae, took to him pretty quickly as soon as he demonstrated it wasn’t his first rodeo.

The method of how the monsters came into the picture had its own spin and without spoiling it, it won’t seem spoilery when you see it. Big name actors such as Willem Dafoe co-starred, but his character contributed very little to the plot as there was no real need for him to be there. Great actor of course, but the role wasn’t necessary in my opinion.

Matt Damon’s character plays a westerner attempting to gain wealth via his own greed, but is faced a moral dilemma to get involved. If you really want to get an idea of this premise’s predictability, just think of Han Solo’s decision to join the Rebellion in Star Wars. The decision to be self-serving vs. selfless is there.

I do give credit to the aesthetics and the precision in which The Great Wall’s army got their act together to take on these “mythical” creatures. Their fighting form was spectacular and the colored armor was an added touch as an identifier on who did what. They did pale any other army in comparison for its time and was ahead of its time when it came to their skills.

The acting was pretty basic though, enough to get by and push the story though, but once you got further into the movie, its predictability made it all the more boring. The finale was typical, but adding a little cultural flare to it was admirable as there had been honor and sacrifice dedicated to the fight. Just slightly emotional enough to walk out of the theater feeling a bit good, but probably just a blip in your memory’s radar and probably forgotten as water cooler material the next day.

 

 

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Author: Tony Smejek View all posts by
Tony is fanatical about his geek pop-culture passion. He specializes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well as the DC Extended Cinematic Universe. When other shared universes start to jump on the band wagon, he may even push the envelope into those worlds as well.

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