Film Reviews

The Great Wall (2016)


Starring: Matt Damon, Tian Jing, Willem Dafoe

Director: Yimou Zhang

If you’ve ever wondered why the Chinese built their Great Wall, and then Googled it, thought the real history was boring, and wanted more dragons, then this film is for you.

Which is crazy, because the real history of the Great Wall is a fascinating story of passion, power and blood. What’s wrong with you?

This Great Wall, then, is about two mercenaries who head to China in search of gunpowder, which they plan to sell for big bucks for their wars, but they find themselves caught up in the events in China. Which involve warriors building a huge wall to keep out these massive demons than plan to attack and lay waste to China. Those mercenaries are played by Matt Damon and Willem Dafoe, and they make friends with Commander Lin Mae, played by the lovely Tian Jing, who has major fighting prowess but gets sidelined because she’s of the female persuasion.

It’s one of those love/hate things with the guy and the girl, and his sidekick is meant to have great banter with him, and there’s also the fact that he initially is using her but changes his mind, but then she finds out kind of drama. But it all feels pretty standard. The best bits, of course, are when people fight monsters in pitched battles, flying around with swords in epic outfits, many of them dying horrible deaths. Those parts are fun.

It just feels like a by the numbers film, there’s no real heart. It feels a bit cheesey, a bit thrown together. It’s bland. So it’s one of those films that I don’t really recommend, even though I usually quite like Damon and Dafoe in films. But some of you may get a kick out of the massive CGI and the battles. Nothing wrong with that.

See It If: hmmm. See it if you really want to. It’s not historically accurate, it’s not that entertaining, but some of you may get a kick out of the fight scenes.


15 thoughts on “The Great Wall (2016)”

  1. I enjoyed it because I could just turn off my brain and enjoy the visuals of the film. The spectacle was great, but as you said, the relationships were a bit formulaic. Still I had fun with it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s all some movies need to be, and are supposed to be.
        That’s why they’re fun! Unfortunate when a film doesn’t realize it’s supposed to be one of the fun ones though…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I am not going out of my way to see this one, but I will see it at some point. I’m a huge all things Asian fan, so for that alone I will watch it. But I am not expecting a lot from this film, especially not considering the not too positive reviews. But still, sometimes a by the numbers movie can have a few entertaining parts in it. Great post as always 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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