Warning, the following review contains spoilers for the movie ‘The Great Wall’.
Sometimes you have to take a good long look at life and appreciate the finer things. Whiskey, cookie dough, those spooning cuddles you have where the other person isn’t an iceberg but also isn’t a sticky inferno. So believe me when I say, we went out and watched The Great Wall with cautious optimism. Optimism that it could reach the lofty heights of the first chewy flavour of spearmint gum. The dizzying elevations of a cup of tea next to a fireplace whilst theres a snowstorm going on outside.
To be fair to our innocent and unknowing minds, the premise is actually pretty great if you REALLY think about it (like if you forget that it existed and then smoked something super outrageous). An action film centred around some Westeners in Imperial China? A mysterious threat revolving around one of the worlds most ancient landmarks? Sure smells like hollywood action movie in here.
The movie started off mediocre… but kind of ok… I guess. Three European explorers are out in the deadly east trying to find gunpowder. Gunpowder is supposedly super-secret-pyromancy-magic and everyone is after it. Sure, lets go with it and see where it leads. There’s fighting with some Mongolian guys who really don’t like making friends; which as we know from the Marco Polo’s Netflix series was definitely a thing. So far so good.
Suddenly, as if to further the plot, a weird bad thing happens with a spooky monster arm and one of the European dudes dies. Footnote here about this poor chap, this third amigo that the two survivors travelled the world with… WE NEVER HEAR ABOUT THIS MAN EVER AGAIN. Sure glad he was important to the plot. The two survivors get captured by Chinese dudes standing on the great wall. It just so happens that the Predator arm they have is the one equippable inventory items they need to walk away from execution street. Making the plot a videogame makes it more pleasant to remember… sorry.
Lets take a brief yet satisfying moment to appreciate what came next. The captured Euro guys, and suddenly for some reason Willem freakin’ Defoe, are in a room with a bunch of Imperial Chinese soldiers. The generals have arrived. A gigantic lightning bolt slides in from the top of the cinema screen and Go Go Power Rangers begins to play in the heads of everyone watching. It’s a Matt Damon miracle. All of the generals are wearing different brightly-coloured suits of armour…I don’t care about what reasons they give for it in the movie, it makes literally no sense. The colours aren’t even remotely subtle, we’re talking neon shades here. If you’d shown me a still of the scene and said “THIS IS A GOING TO BE A SCENE IN THE NEW POWER RANGERS MOVIE”, I would have legitimately believed you. It doesn’t matter what else is going on at this point or how important it is. It doesn’t even matter how hard Willem Defoe is trying to put in a fair performance (we love you Willy D). The only thing that matters now is the soundtrack, the soundtrack in your brain.
Entire scenes go by and every line of dialogue is replaced with samples from the Power Rangers theme tune. “THEYYYYVE GOTTT A POWAANDAFORCETHATUNEVERSEENBEFOOOORE”, proclaimed Matt Damon as he fired an arrow at an alien hell beast from the magnet dimension. “THEYYYVE GOT THE ABILITYTOMORPHANDTOEVENOUTTHESCORE”, roared the hell beast in response as it curled up into a ball and died.
So the deal is that some evil hoard has awakened; obviously. Every something hundred years or a WORLD ENDING CLUSTERFUCK happens and it’s up to the Nights Watch/ Chinese Morphin Power China on the wall to deal with it… in fashionable armour. Theres a few scenes of exposition where Matty D shows all the non-white people how to ‘do bows good’. I liked how everyone reacted as if being good at archery means you suddenly aren’t a potentially world ending spy in what is basically ancient-times pentagon. Oh and a woman tries to get the protagonist to just jump off the wall; which would have admittedly been a hilariously fitting end to the movie.
You know that ICP song about magnets? That song pretty much sponsored the rest of the movie. The Rangers discover that the alien queen’s incredible mind powers, the powers she can spread to take over thousands of her children simultaneously, can be simply repelled by her drones being vaguely close to a large fridge magnet. Isn’t it lucky that the European guy brought a Magnet to a monster fight? The Black ranger dies first as well… just in case you missed that little ditty. Imperialists react in a perfectly reasonable way. They decide that the rock-tamed murder monster which just slaughtered a bunch of dudes would be the perfect cuddly pet for their child-emperor. Cue “YOU FUKIN WOTS” in the cinema. As the Chinese noblemen spend their time studying the (and I’m sorry) SODDING ROCK which is stopping bloodbath death to everyone, “fuckin’ magnets how do they work?” overlays itself into harmony with the Power Rangers guitar riff. The movie that is playing in your head is now more radical and interesting than the one you are watching in real life, congrats.
Everyone flies off in some pre-hot-air-baloon-hot-air-balloons styled after those things you set off to remember people in a hipster-like way. You know the things. The white guy saves everyone with the use of Chinas supergunpowder and not magnets, rendering the magnet subplot pointless. There was some side thing about his eurofriend betraying him or something that I can’t remember. The child Emperor is a dick to everyone and the two homies go home with hope for a sequel, no reprisals for their actions and no fear of death from the Mongols that are still, y’know, trying to kill everyone.
And as the Power Rangers theme tune finally comes to an end, your only reaction is to sit there in silence thanking god that you didnt have to pay for the tickets to see this calamity. So how was it? What was my opinion? How did I feel about this… thing. I have just one answer for you.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHhha
I give this movie
(╯°□°）╯︵ ┻━┻ / 10
May god have mercy on its Power Coin.