The Great Wall Is Matt Damon’s Worst Film Yet


Chris Beauchamp, Staff Writer

After the financial box office success of Jason Bourne, Matt Damon and director Zhang Yimou work together for one of the very first times on a fictional story, The Great Wall. The Great Wall stars the lovable talents of Matt Damon, Jing Tian, Pedro Pascal and Willem Dafoe. Will The Great Wall paint a clean path for future American-Chinese collaboration? Let’s find out.

This movie tells a fictional tale on why the Great Wall of China was built and what the Chinese were trying to keep out. Two foreigners named William (played by Damon) and Tovar (played by Pascal) get roped into the war on the Great Wall of China, which involves fighting off unknown monsters. With the help of Commander Lin (played by Tian), they will defend the Great Wall of China from the dangers on the other side.

The film has amazing visual effects and a great variety of action scenes. If Yimou is known for anything, it is his amazing visuals used in his films. Visual effects in this film are utilized perfectly and contain an appropriate balance within the context of the film. The action scenes blend brilliantly-performed stunts and crafty one-on-one combat, making it a good balance. If you like visuals and action scenes, then I highly recommend watching this film in the 3-D format to get the best movie experience possible.

Other than the amazing visuals and action scenes, the film has a plethora of problems. The first glaring problem is that the storyline is very weak. It doesn’t cohesively drive the film to keep audiences entertained and it isn’t original.

Another problem is that none of the actors performed well in this film. Damon’s acting seemed very vague and boring. He seemed very unmotivated playing his part. For instance, when Damon’s character is interacting with Tian’s character, his acting is very plain and unprofessional. The last major problem with this film is the lack of character development. Tian, Pascal and Defoe’s characters are all very simple. Their backgrounds are not rooted in anything specific and they provide minimal value to the story. Out of the three, Tian’s character gets the most development but not enough to keep you interested in her character. Throughout the film, Tian’s character grows from small warrior to commander of the group. She has good growth in her character but needed more time to develop to become a full-fledged character. More screentime and background for these characters would have made them more memorable in the film.

The Great Wall, as a whole, has some strong elements and numerous problems. The film gives audiences great visuals and action scenes in the context of the film, however, it lacks good storytelling and well-developed characters. These are many areas that a film from Zhang Yimou should not have. If you like visuals and action scenes, then go check it out when it comes out on Blu-ray. I suggest saving your money and waiting for Logan this week.