Monday, October 10, 2016

The Great Wall movie by Zhang Yimou promises to be the valentine's gift I totally deserve.

I want to see The Great Wall movie that's coming out in February even though it's a Chinese spectacle that's somehow found it reasonable to cast American Matt Damon as its star. Just to be clear, I like Matt Damon, but I kind of think that it's a little strange to have an American in a title role for a Chinese film. Not too weird...but it gives me pause in the same way as Tilda Swinson's casting as the Ancient One in the upcoming movie, Doctor Strange. But...whatever.

Or maybe I'm just noticing Matt Damon being so important in the movie, because the movie is being marketed to American audiences. Gotta admit that this is probably the more likely explanation. In that case, never mind my above comments. We do have assurances from Matt Damon that him being cast is "not whitewashing."

I know most of you probably haven't even heard of this movie, so I'll embed the trailer below. And to tell you a little about it, the movie is from director Zhang Yimou (who made Hero), and it's a complete fantasy about giant monsters attacking the Great Wall of China in some ancient, alternate history. Matt Damon and Pedro Pascal are mercenaries fighting alongside the Chinese armies. And as usual, Zhang uses color really well.

If you get around to watching the clip, I do have a question for you: Did anyone else find it odd that Damon is playing a man from the West but has an American accent? Meanwhile Pedro gets to do a Spanish accent even though his real accent is decidedly American. That just seems odd and is probably something that not too many audiences will notice. But yeah, I noticed it so I'm pointing it out :)


  1. They're trying to appeal to our market so it makes sense they would use at least one name American actor. Now, if the whole cast was American, that would be a problem.

  2. Replies
    1. I forgot to say I'm surprised you're posting on a holiday.

  3. I saw the trailer a little bit ago and didn't like the casting of Matt D in it at all. I just didn't buy into his character. And the part where he shoots 5 arrows at the bowl... made me eye-roll big time. I don't think I would have had that much of a reaction to that scene if his character had been a Chinese actor. I'll still give the movie a shot, the special effects look good and it's got monsters chomping down on people, so that's a plus...but it's going to have to do a whole lot of convincing to get me to believe Matt D belongs in this world...

  4. There seems to be a bit of a white savior complex to this. But it does not destroy the fact that the trailer looks amazing.

  5. I thought it was odd that Matt Damon was in the movie. I don't know anything about the story, though.

  6. The movie is getting a lot of flak because of Damon.
    I don't know how I feel about it.
    I have decided, though, that I like Swinson as the Ancient One. She is the most... chameleonic actor that I know of, and I think that aspect of her really fits that part.

  7. I think casting Damon was a business decision, and since China is aggressively getting into the movie industry that means making flicks that have an international appeal. But the reverse is also true: China is a big market for American flicks. Someone in the movie biz recently told me that the reason the new Ghostbusters didn't do as well overseas as the studio had hoped was because it had FEMALE ghostbusters, and in China women who deal with the paranormal are witches, and witches are shunned.

  8. Why do we need American actors to sell a film? I mean, I know why, but I wonder why we continue to need this sort of thing. Ah well. I hope he doesn't detract from the movie.