Hello, fellow moviegoers!
The Great Wall is directed by Yimou Zhang, and it stars Matt Damon, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe, and Tian Jing. It tells the story of a couple Westerners as they travel to China in search of gunpowder in the 11th century. In their search, they encounter a fortress along the Great Wall of China and discover the purpose of the Wall is to protect China from these mysterious beasts that frequently try to attack the country. One thing leads to another, and these two end up fighting alongside the Chinese to defend the Wall.
The Great Wall wasn’t nearly as great as the wall it's based on. In fact, it’s a bit of a stretch to say that this movie is any good at all. It has its enjoyable moments, but overall the movie fails to become anything worthwhile. It feels about twenty minutes too long, which is especially bad considering the movie is only an hour and forty-five minutes long, and most of all, though, this movie is extremely boring.
The movie as a whole may be a little lackluster, but that is no fault of the first half-hour. The first thirty minutes of this movie have their minor flaws, but for the most part, they were very entertaining. All the way until just after the film’s first action sequence, The Great Wall was actually a good movie. For me, it was sitting at about a 7/10 in that segment. The action was impressive, it had a fast pace, an interesting plot, and a lot of potential. I was pleasantly surprised by the beginning of the movie, and I was ready to come out of the theater defending this movie. Unfortunately, that feeling didn’t last long.
After that entertaining first act of the movie, The Great Wall falls apart fast. Unlike the actual Great Wall of China which has amazed people and had them in awe for centuries, this film fails to keep its audience's attention for less than two hours. All of that fun and excitement from the beginning simply disappears after the first action sequence. It’s almost as it became a different movie. Even the action sequences throughout the film never match the fun of the first one. The film becomes slow and boring for the most part, and it felt like a chore to watch.
A good cast in a movie can really work wonders for it. The Great Wall has a great cast with the likes of Matt Damon, Willem Dafoe, and Pedro Pascal (whom you might recognize as Oberyn Martell from Game of Thrones) rounding it out. A majority of the cast in this film seemed to only there for a quick paycheck, though, specifically, Damon and Dafoe, who are both great actors. They mailed in their performances in this movie. They weren’t awful, but they weren’t good either. The only two people in this movie that seemed to care were Pascal and Tian Jing, who played a military commander. Those two both felt like they were actually trying to salvage the movie, and despite their best efforts, they don't quite save it.
The only other good things that stand out to me from this movie are the costume design and the music. First off, the costume design by Mayes C. Rubeo used a lot of vibrant colors for the armor. Each piece of apparel in this film was intricate and well made. It’s not super important to the film as a whole, but it was noticeably good. Secondly, the music in the film really got your blood pumping. The use of drums, especially in the opening action scene, made the energy level spike. The film was scored by Ramin Djawadi who also scores every episode of Game of Thrones and Westworld, so this guy has a lot of talent and added to the movie.
As a whole, The Great Wall was less than great. It starts off on a high note and then quickly falls off. It becomes a slow, boring mess that never succeeds in capturing its audience’s attention. Matt Damon and Willem Dafoe were both in this movie only for a quick paycheck, and it really shows. Pedro Pascal and Tian Jing try their best to hold the movie up, and the costumes and music were well done, but the movie as a whole failed to be entertaining. The movie had an interesting premise, but it never quite lives up to it. I would not recommend seeing The Great Wall.
So what did you think of The Great Wall? Did you find more enjoyment out of it than I did? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! Don’t forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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