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Dir: Zhang Yimou (12A, 106 mins)

The Great Wall of China, an iconic structure commonly believed to be visible from space, and in this ludicrous but enjoyable fantasy from Hero director, Zhang Yimou, it was built to keep monsters out. The most expensive movie ever made in China, The Great Wall follows mercenaries Matt Damon and Pedro Pascal as they stumble across the Great Wall of China and the green blooded monsters the Taotie, that the wall and its honourable Order protects the world against. Mixing Chinese legend with top end CGI, The Great Wall provides plenty of visual flair, as you’d expect from the man who brought you The House of The Flying Daggers. It’s filled with tons of panoramic sweeps, lots of colour coding, and breathtaking battle sequences, but the story is familiar despite its iconic setting. It’s ultimately a siege movie that plays its CGI cards too soon, leaving Matt Damon lost amidst the green screen. The supporting cast acquit themselves well within genre constraints, the Chinese cast equally as important as the Western interlopers. Andy Lau, Zhang Hanyu all dish out the nobility as the brave Chinese Order, with Willem Defoe showing up briefly. It’s a big budget action adventure pleasingly done, more mainstream than its director and cultural setting might suggest.

Opens Feb 17

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