Critics Are Going In Hard On Matt Damon’s New Movie – And Rightly So

The Great Wall is a great big disappointment.

The Great Wall
Matt Damon The Great Wall Image Universal

Matt Damon’s got a new film out today – a great big, stupid monster movie called The Great Wall.

There’s been plenty of promotion for the movie (you’ve probably seen those posters of him walking around in China with a ponytail, right?) but they only screened the movie for the press last night, and it’s pretty obvious why – it’s a total train wreck.

The film’s getting a mauling from critics everywhere, and to be honest it comes as no great surprise. Watch the trailer below:

Damon makes one of the most major missteps of his career with the movie, which is one hot mess of an action blockbuster.

He battles dragons and demons throughout, but the weirdest thing is actually his accent. For some reason, he’s gone with a kind of Irish/American mix, and it sounds like someone doing a really bad Liam Neeson impression all the way through – totally baffling.

Anyway, read a round-up of the reviews for the movie and see what the critics are saying below:

Matt Damon in The Great Wall

LA Times

“The Great Wall is poised to take a great fall, creating the kind of mess not seen since Humpty Dumpty sat on a similar structure. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men (and there are a lot of them here) won’t be able to put this snore of a movie together again.

“Rather “The Great Wall” is a failure of the imagination, a reliance on a god-awful core idea of a fight to the death against supernatural monsters in ancient China and a narrative where each moment is more preposterous than the last, each plot point flimsier than the one that came before. If ever a film was made with more money than sense, this is it.”


“One thing The Great Wall gets absolutely right is the walliness, because watching it feels like repeatedly banging your head against one. This fantastically tedious eyesore – a bilingual fantasy epic from Zhang Yimou – allegedly heralds a new era of artistic collaboration between Hollywood and China, as that country’s cinema-goers become a dominant force at the global box-office. As things have turned out, it’s hard to think of an equivalent-but-in-reverse cultural mélange that could match it for sheer, tin-eared fatuousness: perhaps a CGI-heavy remake of Gone with the Wind that swapped out Rhett Butler for Fu Manchu.

“…From blundered opening to risible conclusion, it’s a wall-to-wall fiasco.”

USA Today

“The Great Wall would probably be a lot more culturally offensive if it wasn’t such a complete train wreck… It’s hard to determine what kind of accent Damon was going for here — it’s an ever-changing concoction of British, Scottish, Irish and original-recipe Damon — but he seems out of place.”


Toronto Sun

“The Great Wall is a big, dull undertaking about 12th century soldiers fighting hideous monsters. It’s some kind of sweeping historical fantasy/creature feature/cultural exercise/buddy picture mashup that never quite gets off the ground.”

The Guardian

“Zhang Yimou’s new film is a laborious fantasy spectacular crossed with a CGI monster movie, set in the days of Imperial China, in a military garrison on the Great Wall. Here, it is revealed that the wall’s purpose is to keep out hordes of Tao Tei – terrifying creatures with T rex heads and great spiny teeth. There is, however, no way of making the Tao Tei actually pay for the wall.”

Previous Post
Next Post

Loaded staff writer Harry Fletcher has covered news, sport and entertainment for several major websites across the UK. Follow him on Twitter at @Harry__Fletcher.