Robbed of his birthright, Arthur comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword from the stone, he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy - whether he likes it or not.
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
This movie simply tries to do too many things at once
First of all, this movie does a lot of things right. The costume designs are great, the set designs are very convincing and the CGI is, although not cutting edge, up to modern standards in film-making. The music score could have been better but maybe the composer had a Chinese audience in mind.
The acting will not win any Oscars but we see some genuine moments of emotion and bonding and believe it or not but there are one or two scenes with a good suspense arc. Moreover, Jing Tian has a nice smile and looks really fine in uniform. That might be my own idiosyncratic standard but an attractive female lead certainly adds to the "positives".
With all that praise then, why does it fall short of being a truly great movie? As my summary indicates it is simply overloaded with too many plot devices. It's a hero/East meets West/monster/action/tale of betrayal and redemption/romance/fantasy movie loaded with Chinese symbolism capped by a rather weak, anticlimactic and hurried cookie-cutter ending. The audience never has enough time to get emotionally invested in the characters. The script tries but there simply isn't enough time to do it all and eventually the movie does too little to explore any of the plot elements and characters.
Nevertheless, it is not a bad movie and certainly not ambitious enough to deserve any of the vitriol people read into the story without ever watching the movie. I was entertained but not really awestruck.
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