*Originally written February 17th, 2017*
"Not so Great"
I went in to this with the very lowest of expectations. Every single one of the trailers made it look like complete garbage. A soulless, boring CGI wank-fest. Strangely enough, I found myself to quite enjoy The Great Wall, I mean, it's complete garbage, but I had a fun time with it.
It's just a fairly simple siege film with a medieval Chinese fantasy twist. After the first 20 minutes that set me up expecting the worst, it all just becomes a non-stop ride of some fairly fun and creative action. I was genuinely surprised at some of the ideas on display here. I loved the spinning blades on the side of the wall.
The biggest flaw at the centre of The Great Wall is its horrible misguided whitewashing casting as Matt Damon of the film. While the Chinese struggle to fight these monsters attacking the wall, an American comes along and saves the day, while he's praised as a savior. It was just really weird. They seriously couldn't have cast an Asian in the role? It had to be a while American?
Matt Damon is also terrible on top of this. His accent is so very weird. I have no idea what he was going for. Accent aside, he's just pretty... bland overall. All of what I enjoyed here is mostly just on the action and design side.
I did love the Ancient Chinese costume and set design. There's a simple colour scheme of the female soldiers wearing blue and male soldiers wearing red. It was bright and vibrant and brought some life to the film.
It's a shame I wasn't a huge fan of the creatures the Chinese are fighting. They're boring and uninteresting CGI monsters that are given no real explanation. They're just there. The CGI is good, don't get me wrong, they're just very bland and generic.
I don't have much else to say about The Great Wall. It's an entertaining and breezy fantasy epic that is sadly pretty generic and misguided at the same time. Still, it is far better than I possibly could have expected.
The Great Wall is out now on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD in the UK
Watch the trailer below: