The Great Wall (2016) was directed by Zhang Yimou. It stars Matt Damon and Jing Tian, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe and Andy Lau. Filmed in China, but using specially constructed walls, not the actual Great Wall of China, this is an epic monster movie with large and effective special FX. Not surprisingly, it is the most expensive film ever made in China. I saw it in IMAX 3D. It is opening on 17 February 2017.
It is a great movie for mindless entertainment, and some popcorn and cold drink in an IMAX theatre makes this a very pleasant evening out.
The plot is thin. White mercenaries looking for black powder, which may or may not exist. They slay a monster and decide to take the hand they cut off with them on their travels. The Nameless Order find them and are impressed with someone who could kill one of the monsters, called taoties. There are lots of sexy girls bungee jumping. The monsters are scary. But Matt Damon saves the world, almost single handedly, shooting their Queen from a hot air balloon (I kid you not). What would we China do without Matt Damon. What would the world do without Americans heroes to save us?
Filmed for an international audience and using both Mandarin and English is not the worst thing I have ever heard, although even that has been attacked for the point I raise above (the white saviour, more specifically than American, in the case of the critics – the American saviour being a personal little joke of mine). I think that the movie should have been subtitled into Mandarin and English. That would already have helped If it is aimed at both audiences, make it accessible to both audiences.
Quite frankly I was a little disappointed, but overall it was fun. I give it a 6/10.