When a mercenary warrior (Matt Damon) is imprisoned within the Great Wall, he discovers the mystery behind one of the greatest wonders of the world. As wave after wave of marauding beasts ...
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When a mercenary warrior (Matt Damon) is imprisoned within the Great Wall, he discovers the mystery behind one of the greatest wonders of the world. As wave after wave of marauding beasts besiege the massive structure, his quest for fortune turns into a journey toward heroism as he joins a huge army of elite warriors to confront the unimaginable and seemingly unstoppable force. Written by
Constance Wu publicly criticized the movie for offering the leading role to Matt Damon and Damon himself for accepting, stating it was "cultural misappropriation" for a Caucasian, Western nation-born actor to be presented as the driving force behind the Great Wall's construction, when the majority of it was led and done by Chinese civilians. Damon later stated that he was hurt by the backlash against the role and that he did not feel the criticism of his part was accurate. Andy Lau both defended Damon's part in the project and put it into context by noting that "there are five characters who are the leaders of the battle for survival of mankind (in the film), and the four guys who fight alongside (Damon) are all Chinese". See more »
Only one magnetic stone, which can pacify the Taotie, appeared in the movie. The stone was brought in by William the European mercenary. In reality, Chinese civilization first made compasses from magnetic stones in Han dynasty (< AD100). By the time point of the movie (somewhen between AD960 and AD1127), the compass had been widely used in navigation. It shouldn't be hard to find more magnetic stones inside China. See more »
As a Chinese lives in France, I got to see the film several weeks after its premier in China, and actually enjoyed the film a lot despite the bad reviews it gets back home.
The plot is plain and simple, I can see the struggle that the screenwriters have in navigating between the potential whitewashing criticism and its Chineseness (or the lack of, by my Chinese standard). The transition between acts are well thought out (very Hollywood in a positive way), many good ideas in the design of battle sequence. But overall it feels a little bit rushed, I wish it would be 10 or 20 minutes longer for proper character building, and a demonstration of lives behind the Great Wall. For example, a recreation of the painting "Along the river during the Qingming festival" would be a dream come true.
The visual is very satisfactory, my only complain is that the armors are too shiny, the battlefields are too clean to my taste. I prefer the dirty rusty kind of look in Star Wars and Mad Max. The scenery is wonderful, it makes me want to visit Zhangye of Gansu Province in the summer.
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