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March 3, 2017

The Great Wall (2017) --- "Guy Discovers A Giant Wall That Protects The World From Alien Monsters. How He Helps Out Is Exhilarating."

Plot Summary
When a mercenary warrior (Matt Damon) is imprisoned within the Great Wall, he discovers the mystery behind one of the greatest wonders of the world. As wave after wave of marauding beasts besiege the massive structure, his quest for fortune turns into a journey toward heroism as he joins a huge army of elite warriors to confront the unimaginable and seemingly unstoppable force. (1) 

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Hello, Movie Buffs!
     From the many reviews that I had read and heard of this movie, it received many negative reviews and most of them said to avoid this movie at all cost. In contrast, I was very glad to find that all those reviews were wrong, and for those who doubt my word. Do not underestimate this movie, it will keep you captivated from beginning to end. As a constant filmgoer, I was really impressed with this film. It was entertaining. The story worked well. The acting was great, the visuals were amazing, the cinematography was breathtaking, and the action was incredible.

     Matt Damon as always gives a fine performance as the hero, and Andy Lau (as Strategist Wang) was great in his first Hollywood movie. But the biggest surprise was the female lead played by Jing Tian (as Commander Lin Mae), her acting sub par, she had great chemistry with Matt Damon’s character and her English is surprisingly well. I was not expecting William Dafoe (as Ballard) to be in this film but his character offered an interesting mystery that ultimately forces Matt Damon’s character to chose between what he wants and what is right. Lu Han (Yes EXO-L's! It's former EXO-M member Luhan!) is an innocent and refreshing scene stealer, and although he has a small role he's very good at acting and truly one of my favorite characters throughout the movie.
      One criticism that I will say is that it reminds me of Independence Day with Chinese culture mix. Although it the standard ‘kill the queen and we win’ cliché, the plot line worked very well and was surprisingly not as easily predictable. Another critique for me is, the movie should have been longer, by a good bit. At 1hr and 40 minutes, a movie of this magnitude should be at least 2hrs. Finally, the movie isn't based on the legend of The Great Wall, and this was mentioned in the first opening scene. In my opinion, this is one of the reasons why I believe this movie received so many negative reviews. I bet that most them have not even seen the movie and simply hate either because they were misinformed or for particularly no reason at all.

     Overall this was a surprisingly great movie, and arguably one of the greater movies in January that I have seen, so you should definitely go see it and remember don’t always believe the movie reviews. 

"We are honored to be honored”

- William (Matt Damon)

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  4.5 of 5 stars
Worth Buying:  4.5 of 5 stars

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Movies Similar 
Assassin's Creed (2016)
Flowers of War (2011)
House of Flying Daggers (2004)
Hero (2002)
Independence Day (1996)
Independence Day 2: Resurgence (2016)
Jack Reacher (2012)
Jack Reacher 2: Never Go Back (2016)
Rouge One (2016)
Star Trek (2009)
Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)
Star Trek: Beyond (2016)
Time Raiders (2016)          

Cast & Crew

Directed by Yimou Zhang
Writing Credits  
Produced by 
Alex Gartner          ---      executive producer
Eric Hedayat          ---      co-producer
Alex Hedlund        ---      co-producer
Jon Jashni             ---      producer
Peikang La             ---      executive producer
Peter Loehr           ---      producer
Charles Roven       ---      producer
Jillian Share          ---      executive producer
Thomas Tull          ---      producer
E. Bennett Walsh ---      executive producer
Zhang Wang          ---      co-producer
Zhao Zhang           ---      executive producer
Music by Ramin Djawadi
Cinematography by Stuart Dryburgh and Xiaoding Zhao
Film Editing by Mary Jo Markey and Craig Wood
Production Design by John Myhre
Matt Damon         ---        William
Tian Jing               ---        Commander Lin Mae
Willem Dafoe      ---        Ballard
Andy Lau               ---        Strategist Wang
Pedro Pascal        ---        Tovar
Hanyu Zhang       ---        General Shao
Lu Han                   ---        Peng Yong
Kenny Lin             ---        Commander Chen
Eddie Peng           ---        Commander Wu
Xuan Huang        ---        Commander Deng
Ryan Zheng          ---        Shen (as Zheng Kai)
Karry Wang          ---        Emperor (as Junkai Wang)
Cheney Chen        ---        Imperial Officer
Pilou Asbæk         ---        Bouchard
Numan Acar         ---        Najid
Johnny Cicco       ---        Rizzetti
Vicky Yu                ---        Lieutenant Xiao Yu (as Yu Xintian)
Bing Liu                 ---        Lin Mae's 2nd Lieutenant Li Qing

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