Aside from giving a fair review to the movie from my perspective, the aim for this review is to also decipher some of the questions regarding why “The Great Wall” have polar opposite reaction between some of the audience, mainly the Chinese audience.
Given my familiarity with the Chinese entertainment & movie circle, I will give my 2 cents as to why I think the movie is great in some area and falls short in others.
First, the movie was great because of the plot and the visual. Ever since the first time I saw the trailer in the movie theatre I was captivated by its plot. Historically the great wall was built to defend against the outside invaders as oppose to monsters in the movie.
A great twist by combining famous land mark and monster in the fantasy world, this setting add a should of mystery surrounding ancient China that leads me for wanting for more. Throughout the film, great display of colours watch The Great Wall full movie online free stunning battle scene and realistic 3D effects with the building and monsters leaves me astonished.
Now I would like to express some of the things that I think were not so great in the movie, mainly the development of the story & character and the connection to the wall.
The plot was the reason why I wanted to see the movie in the first place, it is also the part of the movie that falls short on. The plot start it out great by introducing a legend about how well trained troops defend The Great Wall of China from monster, then comes along 2 western mercenaries skilled in combat helping them with the battle.
However, as the story continues it felt the Chinese troops would’ve been fine going against the monster by utilizing their black powder arsenal even without the main protagonist by their side. Perhaps a disturb in balance between the number of monster vs. troops would’ve add to the story and the significance of the main protagonist.
Also the main protagonist is overly glorified as this godsend character, there wasn’t really a fist clenching moment when I feel that the main character is in a pinch. The movie depicts each individual monster as these intelligent creatures that are constantly learning and evolving, capable of helping other monsters in need, devising attack plan on a macro level by following queen’s order as well as taking out key figures such as the general using sneak attack by themselves, however judging by how the main character were able to kill the queen, there is a huge discrepancy in monsters’ intelligent. So overall the character development was too simple and poor, the conclusion was rushed and not well thought out.
The main selling point of the movie revolves around defending monsters from beyond The Great Wall, but the wall became less relevant as the story unfolds, especially towards the end.
The Great Wall’s only purpose was to draw the audience in and dumped aside as the plot no longer needs it. It feels to me if the director had switch the wall to some other places, the story would’ve been the same. The title The Great Wall lost its significance, the connection between the story and the title is weak.
Now to answer why some Chinese audience rated the film so low on the scale from my point of view is because of the following reasons:
Number 1: The film is directed by director Yimou Zhang, he is also the director for many well known international movies (just to name a few film that have been awarded, Hero, House of Flying Daggers, The Flowers of War etc…). He has worked with many internationally renowned actor such as Christian Bale, Jet Li, Ziyi Zhang etc… local critiques rated many of his film to be master piece. Thus the Hype and expectation was really high.
Number 2: Many famous Chinese film stars and celebrities made an appearance in the film. Suspected motives were to attract Chinese investors and local audience by using big name stars. Therefore many fan of the stars were excited to see their star appear on a international screen.
A film directed by a very renown director with many award winning titles under its belt in combination with many famous film stars, the film was advertise adamantly to be an international level film for the global audience.
Yet the film falls short on many levels, many people were probably angry and disappointed, thus the 1 star and lashing out on the comment section on many film websites.
Source: VMAX – imdb