Movie Review Flashback: My Review of The Great Wall

Since December of 2016, I have written a LOT of movie reviews. I love looking back sometimes at old movie reviews I wrote about films that I have either watched for the first time or have seen many times and want to elaborate on. So, here’s a flashback to one of the earliest movie reviews I wrote on this blog. Enjoy!

As you probably have noticed from my site I love movies. There are some films however that I happen to miss when they come out in the movie theaters and I have to wait until they’re available on Digital or Blu-Ray. Well, The Great Wall was one of those movies.


When its first trailer debuted in 2016 it was met with a ton of backlash, and deservingly so. The trailer portrayed that this movie was going to revolve around a Caucasian man, played by Matt Damon of all people who, somehow, was on the Great Wall and was obviously the savior of the Chinese. It was a very bad way to advertise the movie and ended up killing any chances of the movie becoming profitable. It was so distasteful that there was next to zero advertising for the film until a couple of weeks before the movie debuted in theaters.

And Matt Damon seemed to be very absent. He was barely on any late night shows and he was definitely not on the cover of any entertainment magazines. When the movie was coming out I had no desire to watch it. I instead went to see The Lego Batman Movie which ended up being a very dry, very boring, not-that-funny hour and thirty-minute movie that felt like it was taking FOREVER to finish.

So, eventually, The Great Wall was available to watch on Google Play and craving a new movie I decided to rent it and see if it was good or not. I came into the movie thinking it was going to be just a tad bit more enjoyable than Assassin’s Creed which would mean it would be a pretty awful movie.


As soon as the movie started I immediately noticed the cinematography was extremely impressive. It grasped my attention because it was so beautiful. I still was watching the movie however with the notion that it was going to be terrible and would annoy me somewhere down the road. Well, to my great surprise, it didn’t.


First of all Matt Damon’s character William and his rascally friend (I can’t remember his friend’s name) were men looking for gunpowder. That’s why they were all the way over at the Great Wall. I wish they had advertised that when the movie had been coming out because it would’ve made people a little less upset.

Secondly, the movie was gorgeous. It was so beautiful that all I could do was watch the film in stunned awe. Let me give you a mental picture of one of the early sequences in the movie. Think of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and the epic battle between the humans and Uruk-hai at Helms Deep near the end of the movie. If you have watched the incredible fantasy flick you will remember how the elves and men waited upon the wall before the battle began. Well, think of that epic setting except there aren’t elves.


It’s instead a beautiful array of colorfully segmented squads in the Chinese army who have different objectives in battle. And their armor is stunning. Long capes, beautifully engraved armor, striking helmets, and wonderfully designed weapons. I was shocked.

Thirdly the story wasn’t bad. It was predictable, yes, but it was enjoyable. Matt Damon was, of course, the main protagonist of the film but it wasn’t as bad as it was made out to be. You could say he was really a co-star alongside the powerful, very awesome female warrior Commander Lin.


I have no idea why more people didn’t talk about her character. At a time when people want more diversity and leadership roles for women in movies, I’m surprised no one didn’t praise the movie for at least that much. And (there’s a minor spoiler alert ahead) she ended up becoming General of the army due to some unfortunate circumstances. It’s really sad that no one said anything about her and her very important role in the movie.

Was this the best movie I’ve ever seen? Of course not. It was however much better than I anticipated. In fact, I’m giving the movie a B+, that’s how consistent and fun the movie was to watch. I even watched it for a second time the next day because there were things I wanted to see again.

So yes, while the movie isn’t perfect it is worth a watch if you ever come across it.

I thank you for reading and I hope you have a magnificent day.



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