Two Mercenaries played by Matt Damon and Pedro Pascal get caught in the middle of an ancient war between Chinese Warrior’s guarding The Great Wall and an angry mob of Alien Monsters that appear to cause mayhem every 60yrs….
The Great Wall is the most expensive Chinese movie ever made, it stars Jing Tian, Andy Lau, Matt Damon and Pedro Pascal and is directed by the visual master Zhang Yimou known for his work on House of the Flying Daggers and Hero….
Before I get on with my thoughts on this movie I must address the fact that there is NO whitewashing in this movie AT ALL so any controversy regarding Matt Damon’s character that happens to be set in China is sadly an attempt for those with plenty of time on there hands to be negative towards a movie that they’ve probably not seen in the first place….
OK now on to the good stuff – If like me you enjoy the fix of a well paced, epic scale action movie that’s jam packed with dazzling effects & inventive, colorful battle scenes then Zhang Yimou’s The Great Wall is just what your looking for – what the picture may lack in overall substance it certainly delivers in beauty & creativity – the film’s 3D adds a stunning depth and also gave me a sense of vertigo whist watching certain scenes, especially those where the Chinese Warriors would dive off the Great Wall attached to a rope (like a bungee) attempting to spear the attacking monsters, now that’s some crazy shit right there and was pulled off by Zhang in impressive style – when the hoards of these mean & nasty looking monsters start storming the Wall, snapping like crocodiles it reminded me so much of when the Orc Army attacked Minas Tirith in Peter Jackson’s epic Return of the King, the CGI in the movie is sensational & I felt submerged, part of the action whilst watching in IMAX – the screen is magnificent and it enhances everything in it’s path from the stunning effects, the beauty & tenacity of Jing Tian, Matt Damon’s archery & wild facial hair, the incredible battle scenes and it’s rousing atmospheric score….
From it’s lavish synchronized drummers, hair-raising action sequences and pulse-raising final quarter The Great Wall is a triumph in film entertainment – be honest with yourself if you pay to go and see this film then you must love your action right? and you know your not going to the cinema to watch Opera or Shakespeare right? HELL YEAH come on !! this is a Magnificent Monster Movie, one that’s loud, explosive and pretty awesome fun – so go on take a leap, immerse yourself & ENJOY…. ★★★★
Back in the late 90’s Ritchie was one of the most exciting new filmmaker’s to hit our screens, from his witty, violent debut Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels followed by the equally brilliant Snatch these film’s were packed with his trademark visual stamp of quick, witty storytelling with a side helping of brutality and colorful if not likeable characters, he was a filmmaker on top of his game but then things got complicated, Ritchie met and married Madonna and in my opinion his focus went, 2002’s Swept Away was a shocker and in 2005 and 2008 respectively came two average and somewhat lackluster efforts in Revolver and Rock’n’Rolla both movies written & directed by Ritchie with both failing to ignite the passion of old – then in 2009 after his marriage to Madonna was over the unthinkable happened, Hollywood came calling and Ritchie sold his soul to the devil, churning out two big screen, big budget Sherlock Holmes movies that sadly added nothing new to the genre and did very little to bring Ritchie out of his career spiraling doldrums – yes OK the movies did good business at the box office but in fairness these two films that starred Robert Downey Jr could have been directed by any action movie director, it seemed that Ritchie’s originality had vanished and was replaced by an imposter….
Four Years later…. and Guy Ritchie brings us yet another big budget, Hollywood action movie but before you * sigh and say really? * this one unlike the Holmes movies has a special ingredient, from start to finish Guy was totally involved in the writing process – so here’s what I thought….
MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E is super stylish, quick witted and contains some of the slickest action scenes I’ve seen in the cinema this year – keeping the setting of the movie in the 60s was a master stroke, the magic of the music, the gorgeous locations & dare I say it the striking beauty of its cast enhanced my overall enjoyment of the film – the relationship between Cavill’s Napoleon Solo and Hammer’s Illya Kuryakin is the real gut of the movie, as actors they oozed chemistry both delivering their finest screen work to date, Cavill looking more at ease playing a super spy rather than Superman and showing me that he is easily the front runner to replace Craig as the next Bond, it’s easily his best screen role to date – Ritchie’s witty screenplay allows each of their characters to come to the fore, Solo’s wisecracking and Kuryakin’s anger issues make for a delicious cocktail of respect & bad ass rivalry allowing us the viewer to have so much fun watching it all play out !! ★★★★½