(I) (2016)

Critic Reviews



Based on 40 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Viewers are in good hands — if they’re not too demanding — as Zhang Yimou puts the easily distinguishable characters through their paces.
It won’t be remembered as Zhang’s best film, but the director’s artistic touch is on display in his long panoramic sweeps and artful use of colour. Simultaneously futuristic and historic, the visual spectacle carries the film.
The Great Wall is not exactly a good movie – but it’s a pretty enjoyable one.
Director Zhang Yimou capably gives period fantasy-action The Great Wall the look and feel of a Hollywood blockbuster, but his signature visual dazzle, his gift for depicting delicate relationships and throbbing passions are trampled by dead-serious epic aspirations.
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Other than the enjoyably silly banter between Damon and Pascal, there are few moments that endear you to anyone on screen. The movie’s tone veers from bombastic to goofy with speed but little grace.
The characters are ciphers, the narrative is dull and even the sights and sounds become numbingly bombastic after a while.
There are plenty of fun CGI monster-skewering scenes, but a clunky plot, rigid script and equally stiff acting make this a crumbling disappointment, if not quite a disaster.
The Great Wall is so fantastically misguided and so wonderfully bad, I could see some coming for the action and staying for the camp laughs.
We will see worse movies this year than The Great Wall. But we won’t one more cynical.
From blundered opening to risible conclusion, it’s a wall-to-wall fiasco.

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