In Review: The Great Wall

An issue that does come up fairly early in the movie is Matt Damon's accent. It's hard to nail down what he is trying to do.

Synopsis: European mercenaries searching for black powder become embroiled in the defense of the Great Wall of China against a horde of monstrous creatures.

Review: Released a couple of weeks back on Blu Ray and VOD. The Great Wall is a fantasy movie, which sees Matt Damon, Pedro Pascal, William Dafoe and Tian Jing take on a horde of mythical beasties.

The Story

The films story is very, very basic. In which you see the two surviving Mercs winding up aiding in the defence of China’s great wall. But one of the mercenaries is just after the gun powder whereas Matt Damon’s character seems to want to help the soldiers defend and protect the wall and has gained a respect for them.

I think the story could have benefitted from a little more detail set around the monsters. We get a rather vague explanation of what they are and where they are from but very little about how it all started.

The conflict between Matt Damon’s character and Pedro Pascal’s character was perhaps the films strongest element in terms of the story.

Wobbly Accent

An issue that does come up fairly early in the movie is Matt Damon’s accent. It’s hard to nail down what he is trying to do. At times it sounds a little Irish and other times it sounds kind of cornish.

In fact. I found myself wondering at times if he took voice lessons from Dick Van Dyke because the accent was so inconsistent. It was so bad. It made Christopher Lambert’s accent in the Highlander films actually sound good.

Visual Spectacle

As mentioned above. The visuals in this film were really strong. The CGI of the monsters was good and I loved the close combat stuff, which is where you’d normally spot some of the flaws in CGI.

We even get some fantastic fight choreography which was on a similar level to Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, but not quite as spectacular as that.


Something that I really liked about this movie was the soundtrack. It didn’t dominate the film and every piece of music was used economically throughout. The director and the Composer of the music was not afraid to have a few moments of silence in order to try and add a little more dramatic weight to proceedings. When music was used. I found myself getting totally immersed into it.


Overall. ‘The Great Wall’ is an okay film. It’s not ‘War and Peace’ and its not going to be everyones cup of tea. But as a fantasy film that is trying to do something original. It does okay. I had fun watching it, but don’t think that it would stand up to well to repeated viewings.

The film might of benefitted from a little more explanation about the monsters they were fighting. What we got was very vague. But worked well enough to give us some idea.

I also thing the film might have benefitted from being 10 or 15 minutes shorter.

As beautiful as the action was. I felt that some of the action scenes went on for a little to long.

The actors doe their jobs well. Despite Matt Damon’s wobbly accent.

The monsters looked pretty cool and the soundtrack was great.

The Great Wall
  • The Good: Strong Visuals and Great soundtrack
  • The Bad: Matt Damon's dodgy accent and a few over bloated action scenes
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at: [email protected]
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