• Todd Puhl

Movie Review: The Great Wall

Updated: May 28, 2019


‘European mercenaries searching for black powder become embroiled in the defense of the Great Wall of China against a horde of monstrous creatures. ‘

IMDb 6.4/10 Metacritic 42/100 Rotten Tomatoes 35%

Matt Damon, Willem Dafoe and Pedro Pascal (Oberyn Martell from Game of Thrones) you can’t go wrong with some casting like that can you? Well give it a little bit and I will be able to tell you how it can happen in a short while.


Damon and Pascal are on the search for black powder while they are being chased through the desert by a horde of enemies when they come upon the Great Wall of China and are taken prisoner. Damon grows attached to one of the commanders and lends a hand and helps strategize against their strong foe while Pedro feels they should find a way to leave and let the Wall fight their own fight. The Chinese General falls in the first conflict and he leaves the female commander in charge. Dafoe tries to help Pedro with a way out but he has a change of heart as well and stays to fight.

Damon and Pedro risk their lives in an effort to capture one of the beasts and nearly die in the process. They find that a magnet that Damon had on him makes the beasts docile and send the captured beast to the Emperor. The new General leads an army to a cave dug through the wall so the beasts can reach the Capital while Pedro and Dafoe attempt to steal the riches of the wall. Damon is knocked out and taken captive for the theft and the General is quick to turn on him when a soldier speaks up for him. Dafoe leaves Pedro in the desert alone but get captured by the travelling hordes.

The General leads an army of ancient air balloons with black powder to the Capital. Most of the balloon squad go up in flames but the General continues on. Damon is given his freedom and he asks for his bow and decides to go the Capital with the aid of the soldier and head Strategist. At the end Damon and the others use the captured beast and load him up with black powder and let him go back to the queen and blow them to bits with the typical desperation style shot to end the attack on the Capital.

I found the supernatural foes and CGI during the fight scenes a little on the weak side. There were also some other things that made me scratch my head like these weird blades that appeared in the wall to cut down the attackers as well as a massive amount of fireball launching catapults in just a short span of the wall. Even the amount of black powder that was used on arrow seemed to take out one of these massive beasts without issue. It was so far over the top it was too much to handle at times.

The costumes in the film are top notch, extremely vivid and the suits of armor are pretty sick looking while they aren’t exactly true to the period I thought it was suited considering the supernatural part of the film. The sets and backgrounds again very well done throughout and gave a great feel of atmosphere for the film. But it just couldn’t do much for that over the top supernatural feel that felt really unnecessary for the film. No matter what I did while watching it I couldn’t get it out of my head I just kept think ‘Why? Why this? Why not a massive army?’


The film just felt a little disconnected at times. I perhaps had a different perception of the film going into it. It isn't one of the worst films that I have seen. Far from one of the best that I have seen over the past couple of years. It wasn't TMNT so it gets points for that I guess just not very many at all. In general, from what I have seen this film has been getting mainly poor reviews and I will also fall in that line as well. I didn't read in depth to them but the general consensus was this ‘The Great Wall that wasn't’

Would I watch this again? Not likely I would rather watch the two Crouching Tiger movies above seeing this film again. Is it worth a rental? Maybe, if you see it on for cheap perhaps. Just my opinion, form your own and if you disagree by all means speak up you are entitled to your own opinion. But I will admit I am falling in line with the general consensus of this being a poor film. I am open to opinions and other views by all means hit me up on Twitter @CdnMountainMan let me know what you think or if you agree

2 Beards out of 5

#thegreatwall #mattdamonmoviereview

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