Fast-Paced Action on Display in “The Great Wall”

Photo courtesy of Nicolas Genin, Wikipedia

The new action flick “The Great Wall” features beautiful cinematography and fast-paced sequences which keep viewers on the edge of their seats. The movie follows the amazing journey of mercenaries William (Matt Damon) and Tovar (Pedro Pascal), who travel behind the Great Wall of China in their search for gunpowder and discover the true reason for the wall’s construction. 

Once over the Chinese border, they meet the Nameless Order, a military group in charge of guarding the Great Wall. The duo encounter a series of warriors, including Commander Lin Mae (Tian Jing), a strategist named Wang (Andy Lau), and an Englishman named Ballard (Willem Dafoe). The mercenaries impress them and volunteer to help their new friends in the fight against an army of strange, man-eating creatures trying to overtake the Wall. The dazzlingly creative gunpowder-based weapons used by the Nameless Order to fight the monsters are a blast to see in use.

While the film relies too heavily on computer generated imagery effects, it’s still an exciting viewing experience. However, even with the overuse of CGI, the film makes up for it with an amazing plot and beautiful cinematography. The film’s images will leave the audience in awe. While the advertising campaign has focused exclusively on Matt Damon’s role in the film, in actuality, it’s the Chinese stars like Eddie Peng and Lau who give great performances that counteract Damon's less than satisfactory performance. Damon's performance is uncharacteristically poor: his accent comes and goes, and shows little emotion in many of his scenes.  

The release of “The Great Wall” has been preceded by much controversy, as many say the casting of Matt Damon in a movie set in ancient China reeks of whitewashing. But ultimately, the movie focuses on its large Chinese cast and not on Damon’s William.

The stunning costumes, excellent monster design and great soundtrack mask the cast’s uneven performances, making it a true spectacle and a must-see for action fans.