This week we saw a free advance screening of The Great Wall. We didn't expect much, and we were pleasantly surprised. It's actually a pretty fun movie, an epic with lots of spectacular visuals and a story that makes sense. Matt Damon does a good job but the show is stolen by Tian Jing as Commander Lin Mae.
We respected the fact that instead of going for a simplistic love story, the creators left it ambiguous -- Damon and Tian's characters had a relationship that could read as mutual respect and trust as easily as romance. And there wasn't a standard romantic ending.
They kinda justified having a trio of Westerners involved in a story set in medieval China...they needed to be outsiders, rogues, with experience in battle. But as we said afterward, the outsiders could more easily have been Arabs, Berbers, Moors, or some other variety of non-Western-European. However, I suppose the economics of big movies made them think they were better off with a big Western name, and unfortunately I'm not sure that's wrong.
The screening we saw was in 3D, which I usually avoid since Avatar literally made me vomit. As it was, I spent most of the movie with the 3D glasses off. I was queasy, but didn't have too much trouble sticking it out. Still, if 3D bothers you, you'll want to see it in 2D.
Bottom line, it was a fun movie. On a scale of 1 to 101 Dalmatians, I'd give it a solid 75.