There is a saying about walls, which is that they are either built to keep something in, or to keep something out. With walls in the news in a big way again, it seems like the perfect time to release a film called “The Great Wall.” If the title didn’t give it away, this film is about the one in China, one of man’s greatest accomplishments. We have long heard stories on why the wall was built, but have you heard the legends? One such legend is the basis for this story, but with Matt Damon in it.
A group of men are in search of black powder or if the stories are true, the thing that will make them all-powerful. They are lead by William (Matt Damon) who is pretty handy with a bow. When a strange creature attacks their party, William and Tovar (Pedro Pascal) are the only ones who survive. Their survival soon runs them right into The Great Wall and an army waiting for them. They are captured and soon discover what the true purpose is for such a large army guarding the wall. Soon William and Tovar are fighting along side that army against a horde of creatures not seen by them. During their capture they meet Ballard (Willem Dafoe), a man who had also come for the black powder. Together they plan an escape, but will William and Tovar be the men they were, or become the heroes they have the chance to be?
When you have Matt Damon in a film it kind of adds some credibility to it from the get go. That creditability goes away with the first words of Damon’s mouth with his choice of accent. It is not down hill from there as the trick to enjoyment of this movie is quite simply low expectations. With a strong idea from Max Brooks, Edward Zwick, and Marshall Herskovitz, there is a good foundation. Things start to fall apart when they decided to build everything else with CG, as the film is filled with it. The effect of that is the world feels a lot like Damon’s accent, really fake. Even with that though I still didn’t hate this film, as I take it for what it is, which is a cheesy action movie. This is a great throw away movie, which means if you need to watch something that doesn’t require your complete attention this is just what the doctor ordered. Why Damon choose this film, I don’t know, but then again sometimes you have to do the safe picture, then you can do the art picture. This is for sure the “safe” one, and it is also a safe bet it will lose money in the states. For me, it’s not as bad as I thought, which is a nice way of saying, while it is bad, it’s not that bad, I can’t wait to see what Damon does next, minus the accent.