Plot – In ancient China, a group of European mercenaries encounters a secret army that maintains and defends the Great Wall of China against a horde of monstrous creatures.
Director – Yimou Zhang
Released – 2016
I didn’t go into The Great Wall expecting big things, instead, I was expecting another run of the mill action fantasy that was aimed squarely at the Chinese market, however, this movie does have enough things going for it to exceed my expectations. The sets and costume designs are beautiful, the cinematography was a treat and although not the most cutting edge, the CGI is more than up to modern standards.
At its heart, the film is an East meets West action with elements of romance and fantasy, now, the acting isn’t to win any Oscars and you’re never going to get emotionally invested in the characters but it’s clear to see that everyone involved was having fun in their role and because of this, you’re prepared to get on board with some of the more outlandish sequences. Moreover, Jing Tian and Damon form some wonderful chemistry. The problems with the film starts when it tried to take itself too seriously and overloads the audience with too many plot devices and the films inability to move away from the cliched white male hero trope seen multiple times before.
Nevertheless, The Great War is not a bad movie and the makers showed plenty of ambition, it’s just a shame that these ambitions were held back a convoluted plot that you will have no doubt seen done better in other films. Entertaining but not spectacular. ★★★☆☆