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Review The Great Wall (2016): A visually pleasing action adventure. Nothing more nothing less!

genre: action, adventure, fantasy

The Great Wall is another recent film that got bogged down because of controversy and yet again a film that deserves better treatment. It is important to note that this film is a co production of Hollywood and China. Another thing to point out is that all of the accusations of whitewashing are unfounded. While Matt Damon has a key part he is not presented as the one and only capable hero. He simply is one of many heroes and actually is used in a way to emphasize the grand collective of the Chinese warriors. 

First and foremost The Great Wall is a monster movie that should not be taken seriously at all. It touches upon some real historic facts but in essence is purely fiction. While the story is incredibly simple it serves it's purpose which is to give enough context and motivation to justify the action and spectacle. That is it. However the action and spectacle is glorious. Zhang Yimou most famous for Raise the Red Lantern, Hero and House of Flying Daggers has made sure of that. The man knows how to make every action scene look exciting and compelling. On top of that his use of colour and scenery is a true feast for the eyes throughout. For that alone the film makes up for the simply story and perhaps lacking characterization. But the monsters also are very impressive. Especially in the way they act and fight. All of the monsters are controlled by the queen and therefore are a force to be reckoned with. 

I for one like the fact that more and more Hollywood and China are working together to make films. Jackie Chan also did this with Dragon Blade where John Cusack and Adrien Brody had large and pivotal roles in Asian setting. And why not? Both The Great Wall and Dragon Blade are action fantasies meant to be fun and entertaining. Even if you don't particularly care for the genre you could view it as a beginning to something more significant. Isn't it a good thing that the world is getting smaller and smaller and less xenophobic? Especially if the results are like this film. Sure it might not be a very memorable film but for the duration it's one that is fun and exciting and that is not something I can say about the majority of films I have seen in 2016. The Great Wall is a very well made film that deserves a little more praise and recognition instead of the negative criticism it has been receiving. So definitely one that is worth your time. Do watch it in the cinema if you can though since it's eye candy galore. 

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