We went to see The Great Wall while in Houston because we had some time to kill and anything else even remotely interesting was sold out. The film managed to keep your attention so in that respect, I guess you could call it successful. There were plenty of problems though.
This has to be the worst job of an American actor trying to do a foreign accent since Kevin Costner butchered a British accent in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. We were perplexed throughout trying to figure out just what Matt Damon was going for. At one moment, he sounded like a ten year old trying to sound Scottish and the next, he sounded like he was just trying to project a deep manly sound. It was quite confusing.
As I mentioned above, the visuals were absolutely gorgeous. The uniforms were vibrant and seemed to take their cues from anime in their look.
The story was a cookie-cutter that played more like a Hollywood filler film. This too seemed out-of-place with such gorgeous eye-candy. You could be tempted to write off a lot of the cheesiness as bad acting but the lines they were given were the real culprits. Make this film with stick figures instead of grand CGI scenes and there is nothing you haven’t seen in a hundred films already.
I am ashamed for Matt Damon as he normally turns In such solid performances. In deference to him, I am going to assume this wasn’t a typical “payday film” but that someone convinced him this would give him the chops to move into a new genre of films and this was going to be a blockbuster.
I’ve heard there is a controversy surrounding the film because of what is known as “whitewashing.” That is when Hollywood takes roles that should have gone to other ethnicities and hands them to white guys. My normal response to a claim like this is “get over it.” This time however, when I saw the first preview, I thought, “what the heck is Matt Damon doing in a movie about the Great Wall of China?” It just didn’t seem to fit.
Add to that the horribly bad accent, and I have to say I agree. What about Jet Li, Donnie yen or heck, even Jackie Chan?
Again, an entertaining film – great visuals – bad writing – bad casting.
RATING 6 out of 10
by Chris Doelle
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