- Don Ford
Don Reviews "The Great Wall"
The Great Wall of China is known as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and even though there are a number of different arguments on what should be on that list, this is one that is almost universally recognized. Regardless of the big debates, they are all items that put you in awe, but this one has always been a subject of fascination for generations, and a new film puts it front and center.
“The Great Wall” is the new film directed by Yimou Zhang (Coming Home, Hero). Starring Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting, Rounders), Tian Jing (Special ID, Tears in Heaven), Pedro Pascal (Narcos, Sweets), Willem Dafoe (Platoon, John Wick), Andy Lau (The Warloads, A Simple Life), and Hanyu Zhang (Assembly, The Message), it takes place in Ancient China where two mercenaries named William (Damon) and Tovar (Pascal) come posing as traders to take some of the mythical “black powder” the Chinese have invented to take home and use for acts of war. Upon their arrival, the Chinese Army is preparing for an attack by alien like creatures called Tao Ties, which attack every 60 years trying to take over the Earth and end humanity. William and Tovar must then must decide whether to stay and fight with the Nameless Army or take what they feel is theirs back to their homeland.
The whole cast does great and I have no complaints, with Damon doing well in his role for something that is out of his norm. I have to give a shout out to Jing, who does well as the head strong lady who is one of the Commanders in the army. I have seen her in some of her past roles and she never disappoints. When it comes to the look of the film, I was really impressed. We were able to screen the film in 3-D, which really enhanced it. There are a lot of battle scenes and shots with the wall that was visually stunning. Of course there is a ton of CGI, but after a while I began to forget it was CGI, which is a compliment. There are also quite a few scenes which showed what was believed to be the inner workings of the wall which looked beautiful. Simply put, I was in visual overload and no complaints whatsoever.
When it came to the plot, I am a little conflicted. The film started off very well, even for a fantasy story. It was great to see what the wall was able to do mechanically and how the army prepared for the battles with the Tao Tie. Unfortunately, it falls apart in the end, but it was still great overall. I really did enjoy the film and will recommend it, especially if you like films that deal with sprawling battle sequences. I will also recommend this film in 3-D, which is rare for me, but is worth the extra cost, but at a twilight showing.