Wednesday, 15 February 2017

MOVIE REVIEW: THE GREAT WALL

7/10
William and Tovar are two mercenaries in search of the black powder - a weapon worth more than gold. As they reach The Great Wall of China they get dragged into a war between humanity and lizard like creatures that terrorise the planet every sixty years. Will our friends find the more noble way to implement their amazing fighting skills, or will greed and selfishness prevail?

The trailer of THE GREAT WALL undersells the movie in my opinion, presenting us with another explosive fantasy feature with CGI monsters and bloodless "epic" battle sequences. What it delivers in the end is a very detailed and highly inspired spectacle. The world created in THE GREAT Ğ»WALL is  very much alive with inventive designs of weapons, armour and mechanics. This film had been made with love and pride and it is carried through every frame.

The film is concise, precise and simple in its moral, as any fairy tale should be. The message is delivered without preaching, the action served in the right dosage, giving just enough time to stop, look around and take in this incredible world.

Zhang Yimou had created many worthy historical fables: HERO, HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS, THE CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER, to name a few. He brings his unique Arthouse style to this big budget blockbuster, and, although THE GREAT WALL cannot compete with the above mentioned films, it's a solid and entertaining movie with its heart in the right place.

Although the film features prominent Chinese actors such as Andy Lau and Hollywood A- listers like Matt Damon and Willem Dafoe, the focus is on green monsters. Menacing, but a little pokemonish, they are not threatening enough to be scary, but will make fabulous action figures.

The grand scale siege scenes look like the Israeli sequence from World War Z and this is what THE GREAT WALL is - a bloodless zombie film which is focused on an adventure rather than scares.

With its basic story line and a few cardboard characters THE GREAT WALL has space for improvement, but it is still first class entertainment.

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