Well after reading the review at flickering myth regarding The Great Wall directed by Yimou Zhang. I decided to give it a shot. As the reviews were not that great but as far as I could see the trailer it had some pretty epic CGI shots and production design and costumes that caught my eye. Since I am already working on an assignment for Production Design and with Script analysis just around the corner I thought a predictable story will help me pick up the flaws along with the rich production set up will help me get in depth with the Design and the costume and the time and era this movie was portrayed to be filmed.
Well without taking a lot of expectations when I got the ticket. I went to the cinema to be welcomed right from the start with action which was carried throughout the film. I can’t recall a moment where there wasn’t something going on. as Matt Damon and his companion start off on a journey to find the black powder (Gun Powder) but find themselves being taken captive but the Chinese army who are currently fighting against Dragon like lizard creatures who are trying to cross THE GREAT WALL hence the name.
As an audience, you are introduced to enriched environments with the great use of costume design and cutting edge CGI which is not extremely epic but still is done right with the good use of color grade to give that fantasy comical look.
The movie starts off well with the action sequences the over the top view of the hordes coming in which is breathtaking and you can tell a lot of work has been done the movie falls off when it’s time for the character development as I see most of the characters are just rushed through without the viewer to get engaged without any backstory. Lets take William (Matt Damon) for instance I could see that this was a merge of west and east cinema and the director wanted a bigger audience to come watch this movie which certainly would’ve have happened after casting Matt Damon but I thought that he was mismatched for this movie as they failed to build characters and if the action is not happening in the movie it becomes dull. Even the Chinese cast seem to have dialogues about heroic statements or when the war is about to go down which could’ve been done better. Willem Dafoe throughout the movie seem like a useless subplot although they could have used his character as a jester arc but failed to utilize it.
Overall as a film student, I learned that without a strong screenplay and character development a film regardless of the cast or the budget can go downhill especially if the audience doesn’t have enough time to engage with the characters. In conclusion, this is one of the movies you might not get bored off watching as long as you don’t have high expectation its an entertaining flick if you are looking for a good time kill.