The World of Chinese - - Pop Culture Corner -

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.

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