The Great Wall (2017)


The Great Wall

I’m a big fan of the wonders of the world, whether it be natural or man made. When I first heard of this film I thought it would be a historical film about the history of the building of the wall. Its not quite about that and has some very fantastical elements to it, which I can deal with. The film faced a white washing controversy (as many modern Hollywood films do) but I’m here to review the film based on what it offers and not controversial circumstances surrounding the casting.

These types of big budget action films show up often, and unless they are something related to a comic book or a pre-existing franchise, they can very often turn out to be bad. I’m sort of happy to say that while this film is incredibly stupid at some points, it wasn’t a waste of time and offered cheap thrills and easy entertainment. The mythology of the origins of the creatures is a little muddled and certain plot elements about what makes the monsters weak seems conveniently hashed together to fit into 90 minutes. The action scenes for the most part are quite well made, no matter how absolutely ridiculously mind-numbing the sequences can be.

Generally, the wall and the cinematography of imperial China looked good. I like grand scale cinematography that encompass vast and gigantic landscapes. Unfortunately, the CGI for the Taotie (the monstrous creatures of the film) is distractedly bad and this happens often. The creatures never look real and it takes you aback  from the world of the film and into criticizing the effects. There’s plenty of action in the film which I think will please people looking for fun. Its however not always interesting when the film goes into developing the side quest of attaining and stealing the black powder.

The film has a good cast but the cast seems a bit wasted in this film. I became a fan of Pedro Pascal as Oberyn Martell on Game of Thrones but he just kind of fades into the background in this film. Even Matt Damon becomes the victim of fading into obscurity in it. The characterization in the film is just plain bland at certain points, but I’m not complaining too much. Take the film for what it is, stupid action fun and you’ll be able to take something from this picture.


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