Source: The Great Wall
When The Great Wall was being first marketed and going through final editing, there was a big social uproar; how in the world could a big production movie in China, with Chinese historical elements, and hundreds of Chinese actors have a lead character like Matt Damon be the main actor? It was typical American Hollywood all over again, ignoring historical facts and thumbing its nose at Asian history. Much of the criticism was due to the fact that many critics mistook the movie’s story as a historical, fact-based storyline versus a fantasy/sci-fi tale, which it is.
Now that the movie is out, most viewers will find it to be an entertaining but predictable tale set in a historical context and not much else is factual at all. Matt Damon plays a European who has traveled to China seeking the benefits of gunpowder. Instead of finding the key product, he ends up enmeshed in a great battle between humanity and creatures created to wipe out mankind due to its greediness and failure to reach higher ideals. Fortunately, for Damon he is an expert archer and a creative adventurer who saves the ancient Chinese world and finds a way to stop the monsters. Yes, the movie is that predictable. The saving grace is that it incorporates an expected epic scale of visual display with the real Chinese Great Wall as the backdrop. Most of the moving detail is computerized CGI, but it’s still nice to watch.
The Great Wall is not going to win Oscars and it’s probably not worth spending $25 or $35 at the box office to go see in the theaters. However, it is probably worth a rental for an entertaining night at home on the weekend. Just make sure to rent a second movie as a backup if the story line gets too cliché’.