Director Yimou Zhang’s The Great Wall is a bold spectacle that evokes the feel of past Hollywood blockbusters.
That’s not to put it down. It is actually refreshing to witness the simple story of European adventurers (Matt Damon and Pedro Pascal), who brave the Asian continent to find the mysterious “black powder” that explodes in fire and find themselves involved in an apocalyptic war between the Chinese and giant lizard-like beasts that are trying to destroy their kingdom.
Production Designer John Myhre and Costume Designer Mayes C. Rubeo along with Cinematographers Stuart Dryburgh and Xiaoding Zhao, have created scenes of the Chinese army and the battles with the beasts that are not only thrilling, but absolutely breathtaking. These alone are well worth the price of admission.
Tian Jing as the army’s female Commander, Hanyu Zhang as the General and Andy Lau as the Strategist are perfectly cast and Damon and Pascal play off each other, admirably.
The Great Wall is fun to watch and I hope it survives the critical wags, who can’t appreciate an old-fashioned adventure film.
I believe everyone involved should be proud of their work and give it a 4 out of 5.