The Great Wall: Review- Wholesome B-movie fun

<Obligatory apology for not posting much, then posting something not hobby related>

Ok, so most people have an opinion on Matt Damon’s newest flick, The Great Wall. Most of this is negative, usually due to NOT DOING ANY RESEARCH AND FLAPPING YER DAMN GUMS INSTEAD. Anyhow, The Great Wall (hereby abbreviated to TGW) is a good, wholesome and solid B-movie. It’s not overdone on GGI, nor is it a simple “hurr durr kill stuffs, speshul FX asplosions” of the Clash of the Titans/Immortals variety. It is a goofy, ridiculous, over-the-top action-comedy that doesn’t take itself seriously in today’s World Gone Mad (it really has). I myself had reservations about the movie (and almost didn’t see it) but I’m glad I did.

Crappy review and mangling of the English Language, ahoy!The movie is set in the Song Dynasty/ 13th? century Europe, we have a small band of Mercs traveling to China to obtain blackpowder which can ‘turn air into fire’ and y’know, start a long process of enabling humans to do what we do best: fight and kill each other, but better because guns. Anyhow William McIrishDude and his Spanish friend, The Viper from Game o’Thrones become the only two to survive a night attack by an unknown critter. There’s some good fun-poking at each other and you get the vibe it’s a buddy-adventure film. In some ways it is, but it’s not quite.

TGW ticks all the boxes for me that old monster flicks do and this is in a good way. Ok, so there’s no obvious guy-in-monster suit, but with CGI, can you blame them? Whatever, the point is that the movie is ridiculous, doesn’t take itself seriously and if looked at through the lense of a B-movie, or even a light-hearted comedy, it’s a great movie. If looked at through say, the ‘super-serious action movie with 193% realism (now with electrolytes!)’ lense, you’re gonna be sorely disappointed. TGW also does casting right, even down to only a few individuals knowing english- some dude got captured 25years earlier, plus there’s some kind of trade going on. Whatever, the movie doesn’t need to be picked apart and analyzed like every other movie these days seems to have to withstand, it just has to induct a new generation of people into the wonder of B-movies.

In short, TGW contains:

  • Hordes of dudes/dudettes in armour, conveniently colour-coded for role in your choice of power ranger (no seriously- 5 ‘legions’ – Black, Blue, Red, Yellow and Purple)
  • Hordes o’ gribbles + Queen beast, wot needs slaying but come in waves every 60 years, conveniently this is one of those years.
  • Good natured but clumsy dude who ends up being an important member of the team
  • Jokes and humour, seriously them one-liners make the movie
  • Corny, ludicrous setting- it’s not a serious, this could’ve happened movie.
  • A decent enough plot, one that you don’t need to analyze-dudes/dudettes fight stuff but with a plot that’s not obviously stapled on.

While my writing skills have deteriorated noticeably since leaving high-school combined with sucking at explaining, this movie is a must-see. Not because it’s the latest top o’ the charts, but because it’s a True B-movie and that’s a rarity these days. Everything seems to be super serious or has to be hyper-realistic, as if the movie could plausibly happen if we gave reality a gentle nudge. TGW goes full-on Rubik’s cube on us, disregarding this and that’s good- we need the fantastical to keep out imaginations active and movies that aren’t serious. If everything is super serious all the time we just end up with 2016 II: Everyone is Even More Offended-der

In summary, SEE THE GODDAMN MOVIE, it’s worth seeing.

 

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