The Great Wall Movie Review

It’s time for another movie review presented by our good friends over at FatCats Gilbert on the southwest corner of Greenfield and Baseline! FatCats Gilbert is the best place to see all of the latest movies at the box office! To see all showtimes and to purchase tickets, you can click right HERE!

There are three more big releases at the box office which means another big week in reviews! We’re going to start off with The Great Wall! I haven’t exactly been looking forward to The Great Wall for a while, and I didn’t like the trailer. I’m a huge Matt Damon fan, but I couldn’t even have any excitement to watch him kill CGI lizards over and over again. Also, the only reason he was in this movie is for star-power. Obviously, box office return is the main reason that studios produce films, so they wanted to give themselves the best shot at getting people in seats. I understand that, but Matt Damon has always felt a bit out-of-place in this movie. Anyways, let’s talk about The Great Wall!

The Great Wall is directed by Yimou Zhang and stars Matt Damon, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe, Tian Jing, and Andy Lau. Two mercenaries and warriors looking for black powder stumble upon The Great Wall of China which is being attacked by monsters. The two warriors must help the native people defend the wall so that they can gain help in finding the black powder.

If you’ve seen anything from this director, you know that his films are visually amazing. This movie is no different. All of the action sequences are very well-directed and look good from a visual standpoint. In fact, the opening of this film is very entertaining. After the first twenty minutes or so, I was expecting the entire film to be an action-based visual spectacle, and if it went that direction, I think that The Great Wall would have been a solid action blockbuster. The director does very interesting things with the camera, and I can see why he’s the right person to take this project on. Unfortunately, after we begin to explore the story, characters, and dialogue, the movie loses steam and becomes one of the flattest and most boring blockbusters I’ve seen. The story and characters are so disinteresting that I had some serious trouble staying awake. I’ve been sick for the past week or so, but I know that the Benadryl wasn’t the only reason I struggled to keep my eyes open. I didn’t care about any of the characters, I didn’t care about what they had to say, and I wasn’t really interested in any of the relationships. Matt Damon’s character had a lot of potential, but it did feel like he was just here to pick up a paycheck. Maybe he had his eye on a brand new house and this movie made it possible for him to buy it. I’m glad for him, but it didn’t work for me. I don’t think it necessarily needed to be Matt Damon for this film. As much charisma as Damon has, his character is so flat and depthless that it was almost impossible to bring that swagger to this character. Both the main characters and the side characters are very dry, and I couldn’t back any of them. I was also unsure as to whether or not I was going to buy into Matt Damon killing a bunch of man-sized lizards coming into the film. As it turns out, I didn’t buy it. The look and design of the lizards completely took me out of the movie, and their properties are inconsistent. Sometimes we’ll see native warriors put ten to twelve arrows into a lizard, but Damon comes along with his friend and can kill it with just one. I would have loved to have seen Damon become a leader as compared to a sole reason for survival. I didn’t have a problem with a one-shot kill, but I think it should always stay consistent.

Overall, if I had to pick a single word to describe this movie, I’d use the word boring. It’s extremely flat, depthless, and dry, and I didn’t care about any of the characters or the story. The opening is fine where the filmmaker gets to exhibit his great visuals and interesting camerawork, but after the opening action scene it quickly loses steam and grinds to a halt. This movie was about an hour and forty-five minutes, but it felt much longer, and I struggled to stay awake. It felt like Matt Damon was only in the film to collect a paycheck, and he couldn’t bring anything to a very empty character. I’m going to give The Great Wall a 3.5/10.

Will you be seeing The Great Wall? I should have reviews out for Fist Fight, A Cure for Wellness, and Logan very soon, so be sure to stay tuned for all of those! As always, thank you, and keep listening to 88.7 The Pulse!

About Justin Lyons

Hey, it's Justin Lyons! I am the Chief Film Critic for The Pulse. Have any questions for me? Please feel free to email me at movies@pulseradio.fm

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