THE GREAT WALL (2016) Score: C

Rated PG 13 for sex and nudity; violence and gore.
103 Minutes


THE GREAT WALL is a flawed project. America’s film critics are going to have a field day picking apart this major motion picture. First of all, what is Matt Damon doing there? And secondly, the screenplay is so messy that none of the complicated plot lines are ever fully fleshed out. At times it seems like you are watching three different movies.

Full disclosure: I struggled wanting to give a higher rating to THE GREAT WALL. I heard many audience members who seemed to really enjoy the movie. I certainly did. I was not expecting this towering epic to be as good as it was, and frankly — it is a perfect Saturday matinee movie to escape from all the negativity coming out of Washington, D.C.

THE GREAT WALL is the most expensive Chinese production in history. And with the largest support coming from Hollywood in history. Chinese director Zhang Yimou — has a vision, and his images on the IMAX screen will take your breath away. His talent is unique and what he is able to do with a camera and bring to a film no other director can even come close to doing. This is a block-buster epic.

And this is a fantasy story with what seems like millions of dragons that is based on Chinese mythology. It blows the mind to think that the Great Wall of China goes for over 5,000 miles. You cannot help but question what the Chinese were trying to keep out. Enter Matt Damon, who plays a mercenary soldier who literally stumbles into fighting and defending against these beasts, while learning about the Chinese virtures of bravery, selflessness, discipline and invention. Damon has a strong partner played by Chilean-born actor Pedro Pascal. Pascal is best known for his work in “Game of Thrones”.

This is a first class film when it comes to cinematography, editing and production design. If this is your kind of escape movie, you will probably not be disappointed.

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