dglobalnews.com The empty military pornography of The Great Wall
Published: Sun, February 19, 2017
Culture&Arts | By Orlando Mckenzie

The empty military pornography of The Great Wall


A joint production of USA and Chinese studios, the film is the first English-language production for Zhang and famously (or perhaps infamously, depending on the final box-office numbers) has the highest price tag of any movie ever filmed entirely in China.

Actor Pedro Pascal, director Zhang Yimou, and actors Jing Tian and Matt Damon attend the premiere of Universal Pictures" "The Great Wall' at TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX on February 15, 2017 in Hollywood, California.

William and his colleague Pero (Pedro Pascal -Oberyn Martell in Game Of Thrones) are taken prisoner by the Chinese and imprisoned inside the Great Wall, but when their fighting skills are recognised, they are released to help overcome the ferocious Taotie. Damon isn't in The Great Wall to be a white savior - he's there as a marketing tool for a movie that's trying to please as many people as possible and is unlikely to please anyone as a result.

Well, I've seen The Great Wall and I can tell you what it's about.

"This wall that they built was like a wider, fortified version of the real Great Wall", he marvels. But The Great Wall is still not a strong bet to win the Presidents' Day weekend box office in the US due to a mix of poor critical reception and a controversy over Damon's casting in the film.

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William Galin (Damon) and Pero Tovar (Pedro Pascal) are a pair of European traders looking for gunpowder in 11th-century China when they survive a late-night attack by a unusual creature. However, you could probably write how this one turns out yourself.

Nobody ever said being a trailblazer was glorious, or pretty - but at least The Great Wall gets the latter right.

The monsters attack every 60 years, and are "evolving" intelligence at a rate that could make Darwinists reconsider the great man's theory. So when I heard he was going to be in The Great Wall I was curious to check it out. Anytime a semblance of character development was about to occur, it was interrupted by some inane dialogue with the commander or threat of yet another attack from the "Tao Tei".

The best thing about The Great Wall is how it introduces American audiences to new Asian actors. Occasionally Zhang comes up with an inventive action scenario (spear-wielding female warriors who essentially bungee-jump off the wall provide some eye-catching moments), but for the most part the action sequences are flat, especially in the horrendous, CGI-drenched finale. It's not that the film doesn't peddle that narrative trope-it's just that so little of this movie betrays a hint of conscious thought that it's just about impossible to be offended. Waves (and waves, and waves) of Taotie swarm the Great Wall, and different factions of the human army - their attire color coded by their combat disciplines - fight the monsters their own ways, with one group diving from above and getting pulled back up by ropes, bungee-style.

What is Matt Damon doing in a China-based blockbuster about the country's most iconic work of architecture? The film starts off a bit slow, but once the monsters show up it is strong from then on down to the finale. The original conception of the wall took place from 259-210 B.C.E., but then went through a few millennia of on and off construction.

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