‘The Great Wall’: A Classic Monster Movie That Doesn’t Deserve So Much Hate
Not being a massive historical fiction fan, I wasn’t sure what to expect from The Great Wall, Matt Damon’s latest project with acclaimed House of Flying Dagger’s director Zhang Yimou.
I’d also read the “white washing” rumours, and if I’m completely honest, I was a bit concerned I was going to hate it, and as I’d been flown out to LA to talk to Matt Damon about it that could have been a touch awkward. But I was pleasantly surprised by what it delivered; a punchy, epic monster movie which saw Matt in an unlikely comedy bromance with Game of Thrones star Pedro Pascal and a strong lead from Jing Tian as Commander Lin.
If you’re going into this hoping for a detailed plot line, eloquent dialogue or deep historical references, it isn’t the film for you. If you’re looking for beautiful shots, an impressive female led Chinese army, vast battle scenes and lots of 3D monsters it’s a winner.
As for white-washing, which is admittedly a real issue in Hollywood, in this instance and in my opinion at least, unfounded. This is point blank, a monster movie, and if anything, Damon and Pascal’s characters act as hapless Westerners that stumble upon a rich and impressive culture, emphasising its majesty rather than taking anything away from it. As for his character “saving” China, that’s a downright insult to General Lin’s strong leadership; a key theme of the film.
We’ve got so many battles to fight, but The Great Wall is not one of them.
Catch our interview with Matt Damon here: