I, Daniel Miles, Amateur Film Critic am delivering this review of my own free will and is in no way being written under duress.
The Great Wall is the most expensive Chinese film ever made with a budget of $150 million dollars or one corrupt decadent capitalist Mad Max: Fury Road which is inferior to this cinematic masterpiece in every way.
And naturally as befitting a great story set in China, funded with Chinese Renminbi and directed by legendary Chinese director Yimou Zhang it makes sense for the film to be filmed entirely in English and to star action legend Matt Damon, legendary hero of the not stagnant for fifteen years Jason Bourne franchise.
The very idea that this film follows the plot of The Last Samurai or 47 Ronin by seeming to utilize the white savior narrative is of course a complete fiction! For did Director Zhang Yimou not state that Matt Damon was not playing a role that was intended for a Chinese actor, he further criticized detractors for not being “armed with the facts” and stated that:
In many ways ‘The Great Wall’ is the opposite of what is being suggested. For the first time, a film deeply rooted in Chinese culture, with one of the largest Chinese casts ever assembled, is being made at tentpole scale for a world audience. I believe that is a trend that should be embraced by our industry.
Besides, who would pay to see a movie headlined by Chow Yun Fat or Jet Li? And Jackie Chan is far too busy being a pop star infinitely superior to Frank Sinatra to appear.
As for this masterpiece itself, it notably makes use of an all CGI army of villainous monsters monster called the Taotie instead of lowering itself to practical effects which never look as good. And this gem from the Gods themselves in no way resembles a particularly wall centric episode of Game of Thrones. The fact that the Noble order appear to have the same morals, standards and requirements as the Nights Watch is purely coincidental. And besides! The Nights watch wear all black, whereas the Nameless Order is color coded for your convenience.
In a bid to make sure that Visual effects were spectacular, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) were held responsible and they made creatures that will stand the test of time and anyone who claims that they are already fake-looking is clearly wrong. Hell, Weta Workshop (who previously did Lord of the Rings) will contribute the practical effects (namely, weapons and props) to ensure a high quality film reminiscent of Hollywood productions.
The action scenes are superb, with the budget never being an issue regarding huge hordes of CGI monsters and sometimes coming into thrilling hand to monster combat.
And when in December 2016, users of film review websites Douban and Maoyan (roughly equivalent to Rotten Tomatoes here in the West) disgracefully rated The Great Wall 5.4 out of 10, which is shamefully low for such a celluloid blessing. The Communist Party’s official media outlet People’s Daily on December 28th was forced to publish an article on its website severely criticizing Douban and Maoyan for doing harm to the Chinese movie industry with their bad reviews. And it was sheer coincidence that that very same day, Maoyan took down its ‘professional score’ for The Great Wall.
I myself have no issue with awarding The Great Wall my highest rating and would not in my wildest dreams state that it has bland characters, a completely predictable plot full of deus ex machinas and average special effects with pretty medicore action. And that I can’t fathom why anybody would want to watch this whilst Disneys Mulan deals with similar films in a far superior way or that The Lego Batman Movie is still out and should be wached again.
Nope. Not. Me. Because like I said, I’m doing this review of my own free will and under no duress in any way shape or form.