The Great Wall in cinemas today

The Great Wall tells the story of an ancient Chinese legend about a mythical band of flesh-eating beasts known as the Taotie.

Every 60 years these lizard-like monsters with vicious claws and rows of jagged teeth, descend en masse from the mountains in the north to feed on their human enemy. 

All that has stopped them from taking over the whole of China is The Great Wall.

The movie takes place in the middle of the 12th century, with the Chinese having amassed their finest soldiers to repel the beastly horde.

Matt Damon acquits himself well as William, a rugged mercenary who, together with his friend Pedro Pascal, as Tovar, ventures to the Great Wall, hoping to get hold of “black powder” to take home to make themselves rich and powerful.

They are apprehended by the Chinese soldiers and they meet William Dafoe, as Sir Ballard, who has been captive for 25 years and who has a store of “black powder”. But when they witness the first attack by the Taotie, they join forces with their Chinese captors as they try to repel hordes of the marauding beasts.

Director Zhang Yimou, famous for movies such as Hero, the House of Flying Daggers and The Flowers of War, has delivered a visual spectacle that highlights dramatic landscapes and explosive use of colour, with the Chinese soldiers all resplendent in unique colours for each different type of soldier.  

The finale sees William team up with Chinese Commander Lin, played by Jing Tian, to battle the Queen Taotie and together save the Chinese capital from collapse.  

The Great Wall has spectacular cinematography and an action-packed story line that will keep all adventure movie lovers entertained to the end. 

Words by Peter Lamont

Image by The Great Wall

Details: The Great Wall | 2hrs | In cinemas 17 February 2017