Synopsis (via Universal Pictures/YouTube): Starring global superstar Matt Damon and directed by one of the most breathtaking visual stylists of our time, Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers), Legendary’s The Great Wall tells the story of an elite force making a valiant stand for humanity on the world’s most iconic structure. The first English-language production for Yimou is the largest film ever shot entirely in China. The Great Wall also stars Jing Tian, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe and Andy Lau.
Ummm…. What was that?
So this is a monster movie? It’s got Oberon Martell from Game of Thrones in it… is it a dragon movie? It’s produced by Legendary… is it some sort of distant prequel to Godzilla so we don’t forget that giant lizard monsters can emerge from the sea at any time and Hulk Smash a US Metropolis?
This trailer told me absolutely nothing about the story except that it’s got a super long road ahead of making lots of people confused and angry after they crossed a picket line to see this movie.
Also — it’s been awhile since I crushed an AP History course… but didn’t China build the Great Wall to keep out nomadic Eurasian hordes like the Mongols? Can we see that movie instead? If in the reality of Matt Damon’s The Great Wall, Genghis Khan can turn into a dragon then I take back everything I said.
Based on the trailer, there is no way that movie needed Matt Damon to get made as much as Matt Damon needed to pay for the island he is going to buy with his check from this thing in one fell swoop. I imagine negotiations went like this:
“One island, please. I’ll take the one that blocks the view of the sunset on DiCaprio’s island.”
On one hand, this is another movie with problematic undertones that a white dude needs to swoop in to save an indigenous people (i.e. Dances with Wolves, The Last Samurai, Avatar).
On the other hand, are we sure it is going to be any good at all? Is it even worth this level of pre-screening criticism? Where will it fall on a scale between The Last Airbender / Gods of Egypt (terrible movies taking place in India / Egypt, but starring mostly white people) and The Departed (American adaptation of a Hong Kong cinema modern classic)?
If there’s any cosmic or karmic justice, Andy Lau — a movie star in China, and star of the aforementioned original Departed (Infernal Affairs) — who is fifth billed on this movie, winds up being the only cast member to survive this mess and stars in the sequel that will also probably make zero sense at first glance.