I am about done with movies this year. I think if you gave me 135 million dollars to make a movie about the Great Wall of China I would have paid for a decent script to start off with. My only guess as to where the money went for this film is cocaine, lots of cocaine. I genuinely like Matt Damon as an actor and for some reason he delivered every one of his lines stiffly and robotic-like. Willem Defoe was nothing but an after thought in this film and I am struggling to even find a reason he was in this film.
I wont spoil anything about this movie because there is nothing to spoil. Matt Damon and friend are searching for the fabled ‘black powder’ of China and go in search of it. Two days ride from the Great Wall they are attached by a weird creature and Matt Damon slices it’s hand off and then bandits chase them to the gates of the Wall. The two men decide it would be safer to surrender to the people behind the wall then fight the bandits to death. Disregard that there are about 15 bandits and later these two wipe the floor with monsters. Immediately after turning themselves in they start talking about fighting their way out. Great logical script progression here. Let’s surrender! Now that we surrendered let’s fight our way out without weapons! Makes perfect sense to me. As they discuss this a stern female speaks to them in English to their surprise. It would have been an awkward movie if no one else spoke English so obviously this was bound to happen. What follows is as predictable as a trip to the bathroom after taco bell. The Chinese think the Englishmen are useless then a moment occurs where Matt Damon saves on of them during battle, then they are celebrated, then monsters, monsters, monsters, then Matt Damon falls for the girl and his friend tries to leave with ‘black powder’, Matt Damon attempts to stop him only to be betrayed by him, girl he likes doesn’t believe he had nothing to do with the theft, he redeems himself by saving the day. STUPID AND FUCKING PREDICTABLE!
135 MILLION DOLLARS! The CGI monsters were terrible. The script couldn’t have cost more than a buck fifty at most and even then they overpaid. Where did this budget go? It is currently at a 5.5 on IMDB and I think that is generous. Did I mention that they built the wall to protect against dragons? DRAGONS FUCKING FLY! This movie was predicted to be huge in China and managed to make only 24.1 million on opening weekend, according to Forbes, because critics slammed it. The Chinese government then pulled all the negative reviews from online. What the fuck? Oddly the LA Times say that it made 61 million over the same 3 day weekend so I have no way of knowing how much it actually made. My guess is 24 million though. Feels right.
Earlier this year people bitched about another film white-washing history but I counter with this movie is not historical, it is science fiction and there are three English speaking people to about 500 Chinese speaking people. The only issue of race anyone should have is that this is another film where a white dude is the only one that can save the day. But there are so many better reasons to hate this movie. I searched all over the interwebs and could not find what they paid Matt Damon but he made 25 million from the Martian so I am guessing they probably paid him 100 million for this? That would explain where the budget went at least.
Do not waste your time or money on this movie. If you think that it will at least be pretty to see you are wrong. It has terrible CGI and is poorly executed. If you think it will at least be cool to learn about the Great Wall you will learn nothing of accuracy from this film. This is a shit film with an inflated budget that should be shamed. This studio should go bankrupt and never produce another film. The director should be forced to direct high school musicals and I honestly think less of Matt Damon now.