Reviewed byRobert Setlock, IIIVote: 4/10/10
The famous Great Wall was built to keep out the evil hordes: peoplewith a lot of problems, drug dealers, murderers rapists, and (I assume)some good people. Wait a minute, wrong wall.
Regardless, The Great Wall embraces a new direction currently seen infilmmaking. Many movies, like Transformers 4, have featured Chineselocations prominently with the hope of getting into Chinese theaters.The rules to get into Chinese theaters are long and complex and therules as to how much money an American studio can make from thosetheaters is even more complex. So, US-Chinese co- productions like TheGreat Wall could become the rule rather than the exception.
Consequently, the story behind how a movie like The Great Wall getsproduced, is way more interesting than the movie itself. The Great Wallis movie where things happen not out of natural plot development orcharacter motivations, things happen because the script says theyhappen.
The best example of this lack of plot development is the revelationthat the creatures made it to the other side of the wall. How theyaccomplish this daunting feat is neither explained nor shown to theaudience. Suddenly, a guard tells Matt Damon that it's happened andthat's that. Perhaps the creatures paid a toll?
Speaking of which, the creatures and main villain of this movie aresimply put ugly green poorly rendered computer dogs. Not creepy uglylike the Predator or Alien. Just ugly ugly. Additionally, they expressno motivation or intelligence for their machinations beyond the need toget food for their queen. That's the limit of their complexity, thisfrom the main antagonists throughout the movie.
I guess I could go into Willem Dafoe's role in the movie, but then I'dquickly be doing more work on his character than the script did.Further, Matt Damon's character has a friend (played by Pedro Pascal)that travels with him throughout the story whose contribution is nearlynon-existent.
In fact, one could streamline this script and tell the same story withjust Matt Damon's character and a selection of random guards. One couldargue that all the extra story lines and characters are red herrings.However, that would imply that these elements at one time seemimportant. They never do. The movie is nothing more than genericthrowaway monsters versus shallow throwaway heroes.
Sadly enough, some good ideas are here. For instance, to signal howthey'll attack the creatures the soldier use drumbeats to unify theiraction quickly. This is not only a nifty military technique, but, moreimportantly, provides a good driving bass to the action and,unfortunately, is criminally underused here. The use of color on theChinese soldiers is frequently beautiful. However, the way they attackthe amassing hordes from the wall swiftly ranges from very cool to verystupid.
Presumably, they could create a decent video game from this movie,which brings us full circle to the techniques movie makers embrace tomake money.
I watched trailers for this movie and although I didn't expect greatart, I did think it could be dumb fun. Well, I was half right.
Reviewed bymekreslinsVote: 1/10/10
Total disaster! I can not think of one redeeming reason to see this.I'm glad it was a matinée. I can suspend belief with movies but thiswas just a bridge too far! The script writing was clunky, there waslittle to no chemistry between the main characters. I'm not exactlysure why William DaFoe was even in the movie. Stay away!
When a mercenary warrior (Matt Damon) is imprisoned within the Great Wall, he discovers the mystery behind one of the greatest wonders of the world. As wave after wave of marauding beasts besiege the massive structure, his quest for fortune turns into a journey toward heroism as he joins a huge army of elite warriors to confront the unimaginable and seemingly unstoppable force.