Likely to drive you up Wall, down again

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Arts -

TWENTY-FOUR hours af­ter see­ing The Great Wall, I was still not re­ally sure what I watched.

There is a bearded Matt Da­mon with an in­dis­cernible ac­cent at­tempt­ing com­edy, wooden act­ing across the board, blood-thirsty and dog-like myth­i­cal crea­tures, an­cient hot air bal­loons, a dol­lop of fem­i­nism and a dash of male re­demp­tion.

So many ran­dom el­e­ments thrown to­gether with the hopes they will stick made for an un­usual ex­pe­ri­ence, though not ex­actly a waste.

In the 12th cen­tury, western mer­ce­nar­ies Wil­liam (Matt Da­mon) and To­var (Pe­dro Pas­cal) search­ing for black pow­der in China sur­ren­der to an army liv­ing in the Great Wall, which stretches al­most 9000km, de­fend­ing it from a horde of vi­cious green mon­sters and their queen who rise ev­ery 60 years.

Their kryp­tonite? Mag­netic rocks. While To­var wants to es­cape, Wil­liam, hav­ing done hor­rific things in his past, prefers to stay and help, his de­ci­sion in­flu­enced by the pres­ence of Com­man­der Lin (Tian Jing), leader of the Crane Troop.

The Great Wall is as silly as it sounds, but for­tu­nately for it, and the au­di­ence, it is acutely aware of this.

There is com­edy (al­beit in­cred­i­bly awk­wardly de­liv­ered) and plenty of green mon­sters fly­ing to­wards the screen in hys­ter­i­cal slow mo­tion, teeth bared and saliva drib­bling ev­ery­where – a nod to the 3D ses­sions that are play­ing – that will give you a gig­gle.

It has been touted as be­ing the largest film made in China, but the script seems like it was writ­ten by a teenage boy hopped up on too many sug­ary so­das and the fi­nal prod­uct suf­fers from such dicey edit­ing that it looks like there was stu­dio panic.

It is baf­fling that so much money would be put into such a shaky script with so many in­co­he­sive el­e­ments.

But one thing is cer­tain – you haven’t seen any­thing like this and you prob­a­bly won’t for a long time.

Matt Da­mon in The Great Wall.

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