The Great Wall's reviews are... not so great

Ben Arnold
UK Movies Writer
Great wall?… not according to the critics – Credit: Universal

The reviews for the massive budgeted US-Chinese co-production ‘The Great Wall’, starring Matt Damon are in… but they’re not great.

Directed by Zhang Yimou, of ‘House of Flying Daggers’ fame, the movie is set during the Song dynasty, and finds Damon’s European mercenary joining elite Chinese soldiers to fight monsters attacking the Great Wall of China.

But despite a production cost of $150 million – the most expensive US-Chinese co-production to date – the results aren’t getting much love from the critics.

“It turns out to be little more than a monster movie (and a poor one at that) that says more about corporate-driven global moviemaking than anything about either culture,” said the Associated Press.

Writes The Times‘s Ed Potten: “With a budget of $150 million The Great Wall is the most expensive co-production yet between America and China, but any hopes that it might foster a new spirit of cinematic co-operation are marred by its being, well, a bit rubbish.”

The Chicago Sun-Times‘ Richard Roeper adds: “Director Yimou is an amazing visual stylist and he delivers a few wonderfully outrageous sequences, but what we’re getting here is basically a pricey monster movie with uninteresting monsters, and [one-dimensional] human characters.”

(Credit: Universal)

Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian, called it a ‘damp squib’, adding: “The Tao Teis’ death agonies are as nothing to those of the film itself.”

They’re not all unmitigatedly awful, mind.

Jamie East in The Sun calls it a ‘fun Sinbad-style romp, despite crappy beasts and hilariously bad performances’, before going on to say: “Lower your Matt Damon expectations and you’ll enjoy it.”

Though that’s some awfully faint praise right there.

Co-starring Andy Lau, Tian Jing, Willem Dafoe and Pedro Pascal, it’s out now across the UK.

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