The Great Wall (+ digital download) 4K UHD [Blu-ray]
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(Jun 12, 2017)
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Starring global superstar Matt Damon and directed by Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers). The Great Wall tells the story of an elite force making a valiant stand for humanity on the world's most iconic structure as European mercenaries searching for black powder become embroiled in the defense of the Great Wall of China against a horde of monstrous creatures.
Disc 1: English, French Dolby Atmos, Brazilian Portuguese, Czech, Latin American Spanish, Polish (voice over) 5.1
Disc 2: English SDH, Arabic, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hindi, Icelandic, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Swedish
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When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I thought it looked pretty awesome some 18 months ago.
The film was hyped a little and trailers continued to appear until the film hit the cinemas around February of this year.
As a regular cinema goer, I started to notice quite critical reviews of the movie and so decided that I will give it a miss and catch it on Amazon movies, especially as the final trailer I saw looked less than appealing.
Well Amazon had a special this week and it cost under £2 to rent, so I thought one night why not.
The movie itself tries to blend an American star with a traditional Chinese type movie, by that I mean fantastic visuals, colours, stunts and imagery that I really am a fan of, with a Hollywood kind of monster movie (I thought Starship Troopers at times), which is an unusual approach to this type of film.
The film begins with our hapless anti-heroes stumbling across a fortified Great Wall on their search for gunpowder, which is intended to make them rich if they can find it.
Unbeknown to them they are captured and get to witness an invasion of epic proportions. The rest of this is very typical of this type of movie and I will leave it to you to watch as not to spoil it.
Yes as a pop corn flick one night it has merit, Visuals are simply stunning, plot holes jump out at you in droves, but I was able to suppress them due to the nature of the fine Chinese cast.
I wasn't altogether taken with Matt Damon in the lead role, I really thought many actors could and would have done a better job, but still, when it was over I thought it was OK, but not a film I could easily watch again.
Absolutely, even though the result is totally bonkers. But, by golly, it's great fun. I suspect there were several times during the filming that Matt Damon must have asked himself: What on earth am I doing here? But in a good way, because in watching the 'Special Features' section - which, annoyingly, will no longer be available after October when Amazon cease their DVD-by-Post service in favour of rental via streaming - he did seem to be having a high old time bouncing around on all those wire rigs; as did everyone else, from the look of it, which made for some spectacular action sequences during the battle scenes.
The wall itself, of course, is immediately familiar but there’s huge enjoyment to be had from watching the imagination of the set designers take flight, and I do mean take flight.
For this isn’t just any wall, it becomes a character in its own right as, deep within the stonework, there lies a hidden world of lifts, pulleys, winches and fantastical weapons that all come into play when the monsters attack.
Look, don't expect epic film making. This is nowhere near the director’s best work, nor Matt Damon’s, as I’ve no doubt he’ll be the first one to admit. Neither is there much character development - there’s little time for that as the film comes in, unusually, at less than two hours in duration - but I wasn’t bored once. For yours truly it made for a cracking Saturday night’s entertainment.
Good grief, what were you expecting…historical accuracy..?
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