Benz Eye View: The Great Wall

the_great_wall_film
The Great Wall

Pros: 

1.) It is nice to see a historical epic that is SO true to what happened in actual history.  In all seriousness, this movie has great action scenes that has some cool (and some not-so-cool) moments.  It kind of reminds me of some of the Chinese war epics that has similar action scenes like the ones in the movie.

2.) I kind of appreciate the imagery, particularly towards the colors.  Even though I am willing to bet that it is not historically accurate for Ancient China to have army with different colors of armor, it makes this movie stand out more by having its own image style.  It pretty much looks like the Chinese army version of Power Rangers.

3.) When it comes to history, I like to see many things from the movie match the history that takes place.  While it is clearly a fictional movie taking place in the Song dynasty, it does well showing that it is historical through its production and costume designs.  Add some color differentiation in their armor, and you have a movie that stands out in terms of appearance.

 

Cons: 

1.) Some of the dialogue needs to be rewritten, because it gets irksome due to its errors.  There are two main problems.  The first problem is that in the first third of the movie, the characters (particularly the white characters) keep stating what is happening around them.  The second and last problem is that when the Chinese are talking in Mandarin, other people translate what they say despite the English subtitles translating the Mandarin dialogue for us.  A little foresight is needed in those areas.

2.) The writing is pretty cliché and predictable.  There are not that many moments that will surprise you, and you may guess what is going to happen as soon as William and Tovar enter the Great Wall of China.  As for the story, there are going to be some moments in the lore that are questionable at best.  Maybe it was not established properly, or it is possible that certain questions had an oversight.  Either way, it is disappointing, especially if one of the writers is Tony Gilroy (the writer of the Bourne movies, Nightcrawler, and Rogue One).

3.) I might as well address this, and it is the fact that white people are in a predominately Chinese area, making plenty of people accuse this movie as whitewashing.  The director of the movie, Zhang Yimou has said that it is not like that. It is a movie that is rooted in Chinese culture, and it is meant to be shown worldwide.  Having watched this movie, it does provide a reason why there are white characters in Song dynasty China, but the creators can change them into Chinese characters, and nothing will change other than need of different backstories.  Overall, Matt Damon is not really needed except to boost the movie with his star power.

 

Overall: 

The Great Wall of China.  One of mankind’s greatest achievements, and there is a movie about it.  A movie about one of its legends: monsters are trying to cross to the wall, but many of the Chinese warriors bravely defend it through their courage and strategy.  With the help of one white person from the West, they managed to stop these monsters that attempted to invade their homeland forever…Yeah, I am willing to bet this legend is not real (unless someone actually points it out that it is).  However, I am willing to watch it.  I can safely say that this movie has many problems, but I enjoy it anyway. I am sure if you do think about, you might as well tear it down like CinemaSins would in their own videos, but I can describe it as a guilty pleasure.  I say turn your brains off, and enjoy the movie as it is like I did.  If you cannot, then I cannot recommend watching this movie.  Just watch John Wick: Chapter 2 instead.

6/10

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