Editor of the Brisbanista website
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The Great Wall took 1700 years to build
The Great Wall is a fantasy film about two European mercenaries searching for black powder who get caught up in the defence of China against a growing horde of alien- meets-lizard monsters.
The story is based on the taotie who were nasty flesh-eating monsters from ancient Chinese mythology. It's great to see movies coming out of China and this is the largest film shot entirely in the country. I loved seeing The Great Wall and the beautiful landscape shots. This film is the first English-language production for Zhang Yimou, the Chinese film director better known for House of Flying Daggers.
The Great Wall stars Matt Damon, Jing Tian, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe and Andy Lau. The actors are first class but unfortunately the dialogue and story falls flat in parts. The film is packed with action and special effects making it a feast for the eyes.
The set designs and costumes are absolutely stunning. There are some beautiful scenes - most memorable is where hundreds of traditional sky lanterns fill the night sky at a funeral. I adore Jing Tian's blue armour which becomes a gorgeous green later on. The final scenes in the stained-glass tower reflecting off a cloud of iridescent rainbow light are just beautiful.
The Great Wall is an enjoyable ride which highlights the amazing Chinese landscape. I can't wait to see more films from this country.