GREAT WALL OF OUTRAGE
China's biggest ever blockbuster was released in December, starring Matt Damon and a whole lot of CGI monsters. The Greatwall by and large met with a resounding “eh, it's okay I guess” from audiences and critics in China, earning a rating of 5.4 out of 10 rating on review aggregator Douban. There were, of course, critics who had stronger views. One reviewer even said director Zhang Yimou was dead (i.e. artistically), which prompted a furious response from the studio. Casting a white guy to be the frontman of a film about ancient China was always a risky gambit, and it's not certain whether it is paying off, with plenty of claims of Hollywood whitewashing and Matt Damon saying in an interview that these criticisms were “a bummer.” The film is doing reasonably well in China, though the real test will come once profits from its US release are tallied. - D.D.