‘The Great Wall’ Trailer: Matt Damon Fights Monsters in China

Image via Legendary Pictures
Image via Legendary Pictures

Legendary Pictures has unveiled a new trailer for The Great Wall, the upcoming US-China epic starring Matt Damon, Andy Lau, Pedro Pascal and more.

Reportedly the most-expensive movie to ever be filmed in China, with an estimated production budget of $US135 million, this action-adventure tells of an elite force of warriors that make a stand against giant creatures threatening to pass over the Great Wall of China.

The dreaded term of “whitewashing” has been thrown around since Matt Damon was cast in this huge production, and while it could be easy to simply point a finger at the white guy being thrust forward in the marketing, it’s important to take into account that he’s arguably the biggest name in this film for western audiences. Also, there’s what director Zhang Yimou told EW back in August:

Matt Damon is not playing a role that was originally conceived for a Chinese actor. The arrival of his character in our story is an important plot point. There are five major heroes in our story and he is one of them — the other four are all Chinese. The collective struggle and sacrifice of these heroes are the emotional heart of our film.

So, that aside, let’s look at the trailer itself, which is kind of awkward to say the least. Yimou is known for visually gorgeous films such as Hero and The House of Flying Daggers, so the cinematography here is attractive, but there’s the tacky, almost unfinished-looking visual effects, and what’s up with the stilted delivery of cringy dialogue? Still, I could be looking too far into this. After all, there’s a decent cast and a fun concept, so here’s hoping for big, mindless entertainment with this one.

The Great Wall, also starring Jing Tian, Willem Dafoe, Hanyu Zhang, Eddie Peng, Lu Han, Kenny Lin, Junkai Wang, Zheng Kai, Cheney Chen and Xuan Huang, will open in China on December 16, arrives in Australia on January 12 and hits the US on February 17.

Synopsis for The Great Wall:

Starring global superstar Matt Damon and directed by one of the most breathtaking visual stylists of our time, Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers), Legendary’s The Great Wall tells the story of an elite force making a valiant stand for humanity on the world’s most iconic structure. The first English-language production for Yimou is the largest film ever shot entirely in China. The Great Wall also stars Jing Tian, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe and Andy Lau.

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