European mercenaries searching for black powder become embroiled in the defense of the Great Wall of China against a horde of monstrous creatures.
- William Garin: Matt Damon
- General Lin Mei: Jing Tian
- Ballard: Willem Dafoe
- Wang Junshi: Andy Lau
- Pero Tovar: Pedro Pascal
- General Shao: Zhang Hanyu
- Rizzetti: Johnny Cicco
- Peng Yong: Lu Han
- Commander Chen: Lin Gengxin
- Commander Wu: Eddie Peng
- Commander Deng: Huang Xuan
- Bouchard: Pilou Asbæk
- Shen: Ryan Zheng Kai
- Imperial Officer: Chen Xuedong
- Najid: Numan Acar
- Lin Mae’s 2nd Lieutenant Li Qing: Liu Bing
- Emperor: Karry Wang
- Lieutenant Xiao Yu: Vicky Yu
- General Zhang (uncredited): Stephen Chang
- Editor: Craig Wood
- Producer: Charles Roven
- Casting: Victoria Thomas
- Casting: John Papsidera
- Director: Zhang Yimou
- Sound Designer: Kyrsten Mate
- Director of Photography: Stuart Dryburgh
- Foley Artist: Dennie Thorpe
- Foley Artist: Jana Vance
- Story: Edward Zwick
- Story: Marshall Herskovitz
- Makeup Designer: Paul Engelen
- Dialect Coach: Tim Monich
- Sound Effects Editor: Teresa Eckton
- Set Decoration: Gordon Sim
- Editor: Mary Jo Markey
- Producer: Peter Loehr
- Production Design: John Myhre
- Costume Design: Mayes C. Rubeo
- Screenplay: Tony Gilroy
- Supervising Art Director: Helen Jarvis
- Makeup Artist: Jana Carboni
- Visual Effects Supervisor: Samir Hoon
- Original Music Composer: Ramin Djawadi
- Executive Producer: Alex Gartner
- Music Supervisor: Peter Afterman
- Music Supervisor: Margaret Yen
- Producer: Thomas Tull
- Unit Production Manager: Kwame Parker
- Executive Producer: E. Bennett Walsh
- Visual Effects Coordinator: Joanie Croteau
- Director of Photography: Zhao Xiaoding
- Dialect Coach: Judy Dickerson
- Producer: Jon Jashni
- Stunt Coordinator: Hiro Koda
- Gaffer: Sean O’Neill
- Screenplay: Doug Miro
- Helicopter Camera: Dylan Goss
- Orchestrator: Stephen Coleman
- Story: Max Brooks
- Concept Artist: Simon Webber
- Screenplay: Carlo Bernard
- Stunt Coordinator: Brad Martin
- Sound Re-Recording Mixer: Beau Borders
- Art Direction: Colin Gibson
- Casting Associate: Deanna Brigidi
- Title Designer: Kyle Cooper
- Pilot: Alan D. Purwin
- Co-Producer: Eric Hedayat
- Executive Producer: Zhang Zhao
- Animation: Marc Aubry
- Set Costumer: Daniela Castillero Ramos
- Armorer: Joe Dunckley
- Production Coordinator: Rachel Weng
- Hairstylist: Felicity Wright
- Script Supervisor: Anna Rane
- Conductor: Isobel Griffiths
- Utility Stunts: Scott R. Fisher
- Stunt Double: Timothy Eulich
- Conceptual Design: Ben Mauro
- Conceptual Design: Eduardo Pena
- Supervising Sound Editor: Gwendolyn Yates Whittle
- Set Designer: Kris Bergthorson
- Dialect Coach: Francie Brown
- Sound Re-Recording Mixer: Michael Semanick
- Executive Producer: Jillian Share
- Property Master: Simone Leclerc
- Costume Supervisor: Janice MacIsaac
- Still Photographer: Jasin Boland
- Camera Operator: Peter McCaffrey
- Steadicam Operator: Colin Hudson
- Wigmaker: Alex Rouse
- Second Unit Director of Photography: Duane Manwiller
- Visual Effects Art Director: Lubo Hristov
- Key Scenic Artist: Dena Skalin
- Hairstylist: Maralyn Sherman
- Rigging Gaffer: Mark Jefferies
- Leadman: Sean Ginevan
- Stunt Coordinator: Buster Reeves
- Assistant Sound Editor: Stuart McCowan
- VFX Editor: Tom Barrett
- Animation: Steve Cady
- Assistant Sound Editor: Lisa Chino
- Foley Mixer: Chris Manning
- Assistant Costume Designer: Koreen Heaver
- First Assistant Director: P.J. Voeten
- Music Editor: Alex Levy
- Visual Effects Supervisor: Matt Russell
- Dialogue Editor: Will Ralston
- Hair Department Head: Tracey Wells
- Assistant Costume Designer: Stacy Caballero
- Visual Effects Producer: Thomas Elder-Groebe
- Sound Effects Editor: Ryan J. Frias
- Rigging Grip: Oscar Gomez
- First Assistant Editor: Simon Morgan
- VFX Editor: Lei Zhang
- Assistant Costume Designer: Liz Krause
- Visual Effects Supervisor: Joseph Kasparian
- Executive Producer: La Peikang
- Creature Design: Christian Scheurer
- Animation: Caroline Labrie
- Animation: Emmanuel Gatera
- Visual Effects Coordinator: Martine Losier
- Visual Effects Coordinator: Karina Mariano
- Art Direction: Joe Celli
- Art Direction: Sherrie Dai
- Art Direction: Paul Gelinas
- Assistant Art Director: Hana Sooyeon Kim
- Assistant Costume Designer: Chloe Aubry
- Camera Operator: Saba Mazloum
- Camera Operator: William DiCenso
- Animation Manager: Nikhil Deshmukh
- Visual Effects Coordinator: Brianna Domont
- Visual Effects Coordinator: Erika Gourvitz
- Visual Effects Coordinator: Deborah Zadzora
- Visual Effects Supervisor: Phil Brennan
- Visual Effects Supervisor: Matt Hartle
- Makeup Artist: Daniel Lawson Johnston
- Post Production Supervisor: Graham Stumpf
- Concept Artist: Kelton Cram
- Production Coordinator: Billy Bonifield
- Costume Coordinator: Martin Mandeville
- Casting Assistant: Andrew Hadzopoulos
- Foley Supervisor: Kimberly Patrick
- Foley Editor: Jim Likowski
- First Assistant Camera: Huifang Esther Tan
- Casting Assistant: Kim Winther
- Second Assistant Director: Scott Lovelock
- First Assistant “A” Camera: Brenden Holster
- Co-Producer: Alex Hedlund
- Co-Producer: Zhang Wang
- Set Designer: Nicolas Vallet
- Title Designer: Nadia Tzuo
- Stunt Double: Gáspár Szabó
- Concept Artist: Christian Pearce
- Art Direction: Adam Wheatley
- Dolly Grip: Lech Gunovic
- Key Grip: Guy Micheletti
- ADR Mixer: Thomas J. O’Connell
- Foley Artist: Geoff Vaughan
- Assistant Sound Editor: Richard Gould
- Utility Stunts: Christopher Leps
- Assistant Sound Editor: Cameron Barker
- First Assistant “B” Camera: Philip A.T. Smith
- Assistant Editor: Jenny Caceres
- Stunt Double: Rob Cooper
- Aerial Coordinator: Michael J Tamburro
- Post Production Coordinator: Sorta Lim
- Second Assistant Director: Kevin Feng Ke
- Graphic Designer: Heather Pollington
- Boom Operator: Shanti Burn
- ADR Mixer: Mike Xu
- Visual Effects Producer: Ashwin Agrawal
- Best Boy Electric: Scott Harman
- Drone Pilot: Drew Roberts
- Rigging Grip: Ray Valerio
- Location Manager: Candy Rong Peng
- Props: Christopher Alex Menges
- ColinJ: Entertaining nonsense. I went in expecting gorgeous junk and that’s exactly what I got.
- CraigJamesReview: Impressive in it’s visual style as many Zhang Yimou films are. He has this fascination with weaponry and following it as it soars through the air. Also loved the color of the armor on the soldiers.
The characters are pretty bland, really just doing things because the script requires them to do it.
The monsters are also crappy looking CGI iguanas.
Overall the whole thing just comes off silly.
For a full review: Trying to create a channel based on interpreting, reviewing, and even giving you something to laugh about film. Hope you feel like giving my channel a chance.
- Per Gunnar Jonsson: This is a movie that made me soooo happy that I decided to jump and fork out some money (way too much actually, I’m on a bread and water diet now) for a nice OLED screen. This movie is a stunning visual adventure.
The two main characters are described as mercenary warriors but the terms thieves and rascals are probably better suited. They do know how to fight though and they get plenty of opportunity to prove it in the menu.
This is another one of those movies that live and die by the visuals. The plot is a basic enough adventure story with some additional twists, like mysterious meteorites and really really nasty monsters, thrown in. It is not bad but not exactly groundbreaking either. The same with the characters. They are perhaps not exactly flat but not really fantastic either. What makes the movie great is the action and the visuals. The story and the characters are just there to prop the visuals up and they are doing a perfectly adequate job of it.
The movie starts off in a rather dry and deserted landscape. The first scenes are actually rather dark and somewhat blurry. Luckily we rather quickly arrive at The Great Wall and the colors explode onto the screen. The Chinese army in their shining colored armor is really visually impressive.
It does not take very long for the action to start and apart from the usual arrow flinging, acrobatic stabbing and slashing the Chinese army starts to deploy their various contraptions for fighting the oncoming swarm of nasty creatures. I found all the things that they had cooked up quite fascinating and contributing nicely to the visuals and the fun.
For example, bungee jumping into a hord of jumping and snapping monsters wanting to take a (huge) bit of you armed with a spear. Is that cool or what? Heck, I want to do that. Well, without the monsters of course … and the bungee part. Okay, I confess, I was just watching the girls. Did I mention that all the bungee jumpers where hot chicks? And if any of you go all feminist and gender crap on me for those remarks you can shove it somewhere. If you think the bungee jumping stuff sounds like I was watching a silly comedy then trust me, it makes sense … kind of … in the context of this movie at least.
Then there are rotating knifes sticking out of slits in the wall, fireball throwing catapults, various applications of gunpowder (that was after all why the two scoundrels where there in the first place) etc. etc. All accompanied by various acrobatics by the different combattants. Each scene was both cool action and a great symphony of elegance and colors.
The one part of the movie that I thought was a bit of a letdown was the parts where the emperor of China appeared. Why portray him as an arrogant, lazy thundering idiot? It is really not funny. The chain of events that he caused could really had been started in a more intelligent way without going down that overused and boring route.
The movie works itself forward to a nice final, desperate, fight to defeat the monster queen and her hord of baddies. It is a nice fight, as visually stunning as the rest of the movie, filled with lots of stunts of all kinds. The huge hords of beasts climbing, jumping and moving in big patterns on command from the queen was really cool.
For me this was one hour and forty minutes of much enjoyment.
- Reno: **Decent visuals, but has no fresh vision.**
I always thought what they call the great wall of China is the symbol of the Chinese scary-ism against the mighty Mongolians in the ancient time. So when I first saw this trailer, I shocked and then I said: what the heck. You can’t just hide the truth and recreate whatever new thing you want. But That’s how the China and Chinese evolved for thousands of years. Like it could be martial arts, rice, noodles or the dragon, all of them came from outside. Then when I saw the film, the first scene itself cleared my doubt. It states the film was based on the legend. I thought it was a good start after the misleading promos.
So this is China’s effort to make a product at home par with Hollywood. They had hired top technicians from the west, that’s including Matt Damon. With this kind of attempt, they should have triumphed. Yeah, the graphics were good and then if you check it out the end credits, it was actually not a pure Chinese made product as what we see on the screen, which was 99 per cent Chinese cast. ‘Kung Fu Yoga’ is a fine example, what the made in China looks like.
The director is known for traditional films, like mixing art, martial arts and culture, particularly the middle age. I like his films of the 00s, but this one was utterly commercial crap. When it comes to the ideas for the scenes, every segment and every frame reminded me some Hollywood’s greatest graphic film from the recent decade. Particularly the monsters as the zombies from ‘World War Z’ and the Chinese soldiers totally replicates the Elves of Woodland Realm. That proves, the Chinese are masters of copying/duplicating. IT HAS A DECENT VISUAL, BUT NOT FRESH VISION. They should have handed it over entirely, except producing it for the better outcome.
It is the early 11th century, at one of the sections of northern China wall, where a couple of white men caught by the Chinese army after they were chased by a group of bandits. They have come with an agenda, but there’s something big is going on. First, they have to win the Chinese trust and so they succeed on that, but things changes as the weather of the place has changed. Besides, they have no choice than to cooperate with them, but then the differences divide the two men. Who takes what path and their fates are decided at the film’s climax.
> ❝They have trained all their lives for this war.❞
Many western actors, filmmakers had tried their luck in Chinese filmdom, but not all were succeeded. Tapping Chinese market is not that simple. There are too many complications like restriction in thematic and using content in the story. If that complies, then they must use Chinese cast and crew for some percentage. From all, the greatest surprise was, like Jimmy Kimmel said, why would Damon had given up the Oscar award winning role from his own production for this cheap flick from the east.
I always appreciate the good films, no matter where it had come from. It all depends on the quality and the contents, but sometimes there is exemption if the production was under a limited, small cost. There’s no such excuse for this film. Besides my issue was not the graphics, except borrowing the ideas from others, but it was the poor screenplay. You can clearly say that I’m not happy with this one. This is just another film that looks like a computer game as similar to the ‘Resident Evil’ film series.
The west had given up on digital 3D, but China has a special obsession with that, and so am I. That is the reason those failed films, bet against the Dollars, which were strongly influenced by that technology, such as ‘Age of Extinction’, ‘Warcraft’ et cetera survived by earning Yuan. Like I mentioned, the director is not this kind of cheap filmmaker. But it clearly understandable that he wanted to give what the domestic audience wanted, a good digital 3D film. For that, it has to be full scale action-adventure, not filled with drama kind he’s famous for.
This film lacks character developments, as well as the story. You might enjoy it if you like actions. Even though, many of them are silly like acrobat women jumping down to just kill one-two monsters. On the other hand, they are the baits without followup strategic offense. Hence well planned suicide. Like that, they just wanted to give some actions without any logic behind. The common man like Chinese people (Common means Communism; definition) might be fooled, not the rest of the world. So this film is not everybody’s suitable. It is a watchable film, but why? No worth at all.
- Gimly: I suuuuuper don’t care.
This looks like an advertisement for a brand I wouldn’t bother buying.
_Final rating:★½: – Boring/disappointing. Avoid where possible._
- Nyh: Meaningless action. Wasted my time.