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The Great Wall (2016)

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European mercenaries searching for black powder become embroiled in the defense of the Great Wall of China against a horde of monstrous creatures.

Director:

Yimou Zhang

Writers:

Carlo Bernard (screenplay), Doug Miro (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
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882 ( 458)
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Matt Damon ... William
Tian Jing ... Commander Lin Mae
Willem Dafoe ... Ballard
Andy Lau ... Strategist Wang
Pedro Pascal ... Tovar
Hanyu Zhang ... General Shao
Han Lu ... Peng Yong
Kenny Lin ... Commander Chen
Eddie Peng ... Commander Wu
Xuan Huang ... Commander Deng
Ryan Zheng ... Shen (as Zheng Kai)
Karry Wang ... Emperor (as Junkai Wang)
Cheney Chen ... Imperial Officer
Pilou Asbæk ... Bouchard
Numan Acar ... Najid
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Storyline

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 Watch_Movies

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

One of mankind's greatest wonders. 1700 years to build. 5500 miles long. What were they trying to keep out?


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sequences of fantasy action violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA | China | Hong Kong | Australia | Canada

Language:

English | Mandarin | Spanish

Release Date:

17 February 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Great Wall See more »

Filming Locations:

Qingdao, China See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$150,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,469,620, 19 February 2017, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$45,540,830

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$334,933,831
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Auro 11.1 | Dolby Atmos (Dolby Atmos+Vision)| Dolby Digital (Dolby Atmos)| 12-Track Digital Sound (IMAX 12 track)| IMAX 6-Track | Sonics-DDP | Dolby Surround 7.1 | DTS (DTS: X)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the second film Matt Damon and Pedro Pascal starred in together, the first being The Adjustment Bureau (2011). See more »

Goofs

The film shows a manned balloon being used to hunt the dragons. The first known aeronautical balloon was flown in France in 1783, nearly 700 years later. See more »

Quotes

Tovar: [to William] You think they see you as some kind of hero? A man of virtue? Maybe you can fool them, but I know what you are. You know what you are. A thief, a liar, and a killer. You can never undo things you have done. And you will never be anything.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Part of the closing credits are a montage of Chinese watercolor paintings depicting scenes/characters from the film. See more »

Alternate Versions

This film will be released in the Mandarin language separately in English-speaking countries --- that is, at least Australia. Both English and Mandarin versions have been classified. See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood Express: Episode #14.32 (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

At the Border
Vocal by Zhao Mu-Yang
Lyrics by Wang Changling
Melody by Leehom Wang
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
'The Great Wall' isn't so great
7 March 2017 | by rs403404See all my reviews

The famous Great Wall was built to keep out the evil hordes: people with a lot of problems, drug dealers, murderers rapists, and (I assume) some good people. Wait a minute, wrong wall.

Regardless, The Great Wall embraces a new direction currently seen in filmmaking. Many movies, like Transformers 4, have featured Chinese locations prominently with the hope of getting into Chinese theaters. The rules to get into Chinese theaters are long and complex and the rules as to how much money an American studio can make from those theaters is even more complex. So, US-Chinese co- productions like The Great Wall could become the rule rather than the exception.

Consequently, the story behind how a movie like The Great Wall gets produced, is way more interesting than the movie itself. The Great Wall is movie where things happen not out of natural plot development or character motivations, things happen because the script says they happen.

The best example of this lack of plot development is the revelation that the creatures made it to the other side of the wall. How they accomplish this daunting feat is neither explained nor shown to the audience. Suddenly, a guard tells Matt Damon that it's happened and that's that. Perhaps the creatures paid a toll?

Speaking of which, the creatures and main villain of this movie are simply put ugly green poorly rendered computer dogs. Not creepy ugly like the Predator or Alien. Just ugly ugly. Additionally, they express no motivation or intelligence for their machinations beyond the need to get food for their queen. That's the limit of their complexity, this from the main antagonists throughout the movie.

I guess I could go into Willem Dafoe's role in the movie, but then I'd quickly be doing more work on his character than the script did. Further, Matt Damon's character has a friend (played by Pedro Pascal) that travels with him throughout the story whose contribution is nearly non-existent.

In fact, one could streamline this script and tell the same story with just Matt Damon's character and a selection of random guards. One could argue that all the extra story lines and characters are red herrings. However, that would imply that these elements at one time seem important. They never do. The movie is nothing more than generic throwaway monsters versus shallow throwaway heroes.

Sadly enough, some good ideas are here. For instance, to signal how they'll attack the creatures the soldier use drumbeats to unify their action quickly. This is not only a nifty military technique, but, more importantly, provides a good driving bass to the action and, unfortunately, is criminally underused here. The use of color on the Chinese soldiers is frequently beautiful. However, the way they attack the amassing hordes from the wall swiftly ranges from very cool to very stupid.

Presumably, they could create a decent video game from this movie, which brings us full circle to the techniques movie makers embrace to make money.

I watched trailers for this movie and although I didn't expect great art, I did think it could be dumb fun. Well, I was half right.


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