THE GREAT WALL
BY THE COMMANDER
3 (out of 4 Stars)
As per it’s beginning credits, The Great Wall of China took 1700 years to build and is 5,000 miles long (that's longer than the distance between New York and Los Angeles). Which means that 17 generations built a wall for some purpose that no one is sure why. The people who initiated it are long dead. Over the centuries there have been many stories about why the wall was being built. This movie is about one of those possibilities.
Director Zhang Yimou has brought the incredible visual story telling power of the China film industry to an IMAX 3-D screen near you. As with his earlier movies (Hero, House of flying daggers) this film is a visual feast. The reported budget of this film was $150 million and it is all on the screen. It totally dwarfs the presence of superstar Matt Damon. Other than Pedro Pascal and Willem Defoe, the cast is entirely Chinese. I believe the reason to cast Matt Damon was to make the film acceptable to an American audience. Even though Chinese stars Tian Jing, Andy Lau, Kenny Lin and Eddie Peng have starring roles, their names are unknown to American audiences.
I totally enjoyed this film. The plot was very simple but the spectacular CGI and fight scenes were over the top. It reminded me of the original Star Wars film. Seeing a Battle in space that had never been done before. This film was on the same level. It was amazing to see ancient warriors by the tens of thousands battling an enemy which seemed unstoppable.
At the end of this 103-minute film I was exhausted. It was a great ride and I'm glad I decided to view it in IMAX 3-D. There's nothing like it. If you like action style movies, then this is the one for the thrill seeker. Totally takes your breath away.