I just caught The Great Wall, starring Matt Damon, Pedro Pascal, Tian Jing, & Willem Dafoe, and it was not as bad as I was initially led to believe. Sure, it got a Rotten Tomatoes score of 35%* and then it got a 6/10 on IMDb.
It was directed by Yimou Zhang (Hero, House of Flying Daggers, Curse of the Golden Flower...).
"The Great Wall tells the story of an elite force making a valiant stand for humanity on the world's most iconic structure. The first English-language production for Yimou is the largest film ever shot entirely in China. The Great Wall also stars Jing Tian, and Andy Lau."
The film opens with us following two European mercenaries (Damon and Pascal) who are searching the land for black powder to further their own ends, but with events ending up getting them chased across the countryside, they end up at The Great Wall and being taken prisoner by the elite military forces guarding the wall.
Deciding that being taken prisoner by the Chinese militant force is the lesser of the two evils they were facing, they end up becoming embroiled in the defense of the Great Wall of China against a horde of monstrous creatures.
Tian Jing in The Great Wall
Their bravery and success in defending their section of the wall grants them respect and are welcomed into the fold of this military unit. Well, that, and westerners are never allowed to leave once they've seen this situation. But that's the minor detail in the overall scheme of things.
Because they are caught up in the situation, they lend themselves whole-heartedly into the defense of the realm from these demons that come out every 60 years.
To be honest, I don't think I would have minded dropping the bucks on the film in theaters.
The production value, with the CGI, the costumes and the sets, whcih almost all of well lit, unlike some other films out there. That was refreshing.
Matt Damon makes a great period action hero too. He's not too over-the-top
So to the point, there's a perfectly good reason there's a white man in the setting of the Chinese world, and his given talents are easily explained within the story. I was looking for why this film sucked and failed.
It wasn't phenomanal, but to be honest, I enjoyed watching the film and where it wsa going. There was great relatioship issues, action development, the monsters were pretty awesome, but...
Yea, there's a but, and it's a spoiler of a sort.
IF YOU don't like endings spoiled, stop reading, exit the site, and move along! Or skip the next section.
As you might or might not suspect, our heroes win the war against these demons, but in so doing, our filmmakers took the easy road out when it came to defeating this overwhelming enemy. Kill the queen, and they all die. SMH.
Too many movies get themselves in so deep with developing an overwhelming enemy that there seems no hope of victory over them, that they write themselves in a corner when it comes to defeating them. It's like, yea, we have a serious ass bad guy force here. Ha! Terrifying! Um, wait, how do our heroes stop thousands of these things. Crap!!! Oh wait, we can say let's kill the queen/mothership/boss alien and they all drop dead. They did in The Avengers and I can't remember how many other films it's been done in, but they did it here again.
- - -
Hello, I see you up there, says the monster queen.
Meh... other than that cheap ass ending, I enjoyed the film. Glad I caught it and was proven that yet again, the critics got it wrong.
If you're a Matt Damon fan, I think you'll enjoy it.
*Once again, the professional critic refused to open their minds and understand that they went to sit down at a popcorn flick. Instead, they compared it on the same scale as they would, Gone With The Wind. Fortunately, that's why IMDb is so helpful and other blogger critics out there. And this one does not aspire to be one of those stuff, professional critics.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =