Film · Film Review

Film Review: The Great Wall (2016)

Set in a fantastical China where the Great Wall’s purpose is to keep monsters at bay, Matt Damon’s William gets caught up in the defence of the Great Wall when the monsters attack. Read my review…


William (Matt Damon) and Tovar (Pedro Pascal) are mercenaries from Europe who have travelled to the East in hopes of securing some black powder, aka gunpowder. As they get to China, they are caught up in a war between the humans and the man-eating horde of monsters that attack every 60 years…the reason why the Great Wall of China was built. Yeah, I watched this movie so you don’t have to. Just watch the trailer and you’ll see why.

Let me start with the good. It certainly looks amazing! It is really easy to see the giant production on screen with some stunning costume design and really cool, technically impressive action and combat methods. The banter between William and Tovar was great to see; Pedro Pascal as Tovar was the best character in the movie for me. That’s pretty much it.

I don’t really know what’s going on with Matt Damon’s accent. He shifts between American, Spanish and an amalgamation of Eastern European at the beginning; about half way through he had just given up on all pretences. There is pretty much no depth to anyone so I never cared about anyone. Hell, we are still being introduced to new characters in the third act!

The only reason William and Tovar get caught in the middle of the battle is extremely stupid. They should have been locked up in a cell but the wall in under attack while they are on their way to the cell and the soldier couldn’t find the keys to open the cell. Yeah, that happened. All the plot beats were really predictable. Most of the dialogue is pedestrian with some dialogue simply existing for exposition or to state the obvious. Also, Willem Dafoe is in this movie…no idea why.

This movie was mired in controversy with its whitewashing of its lead character. Although there is a reason behind why casting a big name like Matt Damon is important for such a giant production for financial reasons, I cannot say that the reason is a valid one. Beyond that, the movie that we did get is extremely flawed without any depth to its characters, mediocre CGI and very predictable plot beats.

My Score: 2/5 – I watched this so you don’t have to, only watch it out of morbid curiosity.

I really hope you haven’t wasted your time on this. But if you have, please tell me what you thought in the comments below. You can also find me on Facebook and Twitter. Please be sure to share this with your friends and follow the blog if you don’t already.

Stay awesome!


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