The Great Wall


Historical Chinese action drama with Matt Damon (really) Discuss this article

© ITP Images

If you’ve heard of The Great Wall, then you probably know Matt Damon’s in it. His big, handsome, white face is all over every single piece of marketing material, and his ethnicity has caused quite the stir. When the first trailer was released, the backlash from the Asian-American audience was immediate. Constance Wu, star of sitcom Fresh Off The Boat, posted an angry, passionate response on Twitter, accusing the film of perpetuating a white saviour complex. That provoked a staunch defence by the director and even Damon himself.

Yet, with the sure hand of Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers) behind it, fans should not fear for the authenticity of what is, by far, the most expensive Chinese movie ever with a budget of almost Dhs500 million (US$135 million).

And while Damon may be the bankable international movie star, there is plenty of focus on Wang Junkai in his big-screen debut, having made his name as a member of popular Chinese boyband TFBoys. Andy Lau, Willem Dafoe and Pedro Pascal sprinkle some more magic on proceedings.

The bottom line
Don’t let the controversial casting deter you.

By Matt Fortune
Time Out Abu Dhabi,

The Great Wall

  • Duration: 104
  • Released: Fri, 17 Feb
  • Language: English
  • Director: Yimou Zhang
  • Stars: Matt Damon, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe

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