OG Review: The Great Wall (2017)
Director: Zhang Yimou
Producer: Thomas Tull and Charles Roven
Screenplay: Carlo Bernard, Doug Miro, Tony Gilroy
Released by Universal Studios
So… get ready to have fun! I went into this movie with fair to middling hopes for this movie, and came away really enjoying it. Like I said, it’s fun, it’s beautifully shot, the performances are all great, and it doesn’t overstay it’s welcome in the running time.
The story starts when the last survivors of a group of mercenaries, William and Tovar (Damon and Pedro Pascal), try to outrun a group of Khitan bandits and only survive because they run into the Great Wall Of China and surrender. They had hoped to find the Chinese to trade for a rumored black powder (explosives), but the paw of a great beast they had killed earlier is discovered and they are let in on the secret of the Great Wall; it is the only defense when an army of dragons awakens every sixty years to attack China and bring food to there queen so that she may reproduce. After witnessing the heroics of a great general named Lin Mae (Jing Tian) and learning the stakes if the dragons ever get past the wall, the westerners must decide if they are going to lend a hand in defeating the dragons or steal the black powder and escape with another captured westerner (Willem Dafoe). It all leads up to a thrilling climax.
One thing that I like about this movie is that it is very… what was called toyetic in the nineties, but not cynically so. What I mean is that there is enough differentiation in the army of the wall (called the Nameless Order) and the types of dragons that if Kenner or Hasbro wanted to pick up the license they would have a very popular line of action figures, but it’s not that way because they wanted to sell toy. Each different soldier or dragon has a specific purpose and none are there just to be there.
The acting is great, Damon is always good I was surprised to see Dafoe. I have to say that if there is any of the newer names that impressed me the most Jing Tian as Lin Mae may have just made herself a star. If She decides to do more western films she is going to be big. I also like the relationship between Lin Mae and William, instead of a romantic relationship we get to see these two warriors from different sides of the world come to respect each other, I find it refreshing.
If I had any complaint, it was that it’s a tad cliche in the story structure, and it makes it a tad predictable. However I still had fun.
Everyone did a great job
Well written but a little cliche and predictable
Beautifally shot with some excellent color and great action
Check this one out if your interested.