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350 Ratings

The Great Wall

Directed by Zhang Yimou
China, United States, 2016
Action, Adventure, Fantasy


European mercenaries searching for black powder become embroiled in the defense of the Great Wall of China against a horde of monstrous creatures.

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The Great Wall Directed by Zhang Yimou
The only things missing are anything that make us care about the characters, and any spark of invention that might impress anyone other than an undemanding 12-year-old.
March 03, 2017
As pure spectacle, it’s absolutely dazzling. It may be a studio release, but the constant sense of invention, the go-for-broke intricacy of its battle scenes, feels very much of a piece with Chinese action fantasy flicks… That said, the script itself is mostly corn, and broadly predictable. The Taotie… have plenty of clear weaknesses that, early on, get painfully telegraphed, so that we spend much of the movie waiting for everyone to devise a plan that already seems patently obvious to us.
February 17, 2017
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Despite this weird tension between Hollywood self-congratulation and PRC propaganda, in mood the film is most reminiscent of the bygone Hollywood swashbuckler, more The Flame and the Arrow than the self-consciously phony Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. The action sequences are creative and competent, as is the CGI, though it doesn’t hold a candle in wit or audacity to Tsui Hark and Stephen Chow’s Demons Strike Back.
February 16, 2017
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