Entertainment

Watch Matt Damon Defend the Great Wall of China from Monsters (Yes, Really)

Published On 07/28/2016 Published On 07/28/2016
Universal Pictures/YouTube

I don't want to exaggerate, but The Great Wall could be THE CRAZIEST MOVIE OF ALL TIME™. Starring Matt Damon as the defender of China's 2000-year-old wall, and directed by bona fide master Zhang Yimou (Jet Li's Hero, House of Flying Daggers), the West-meets-East blockbuster is crammed with colorful imagery. There are reptilian monsters. There are catapulted flame boulders. There are bungee-jumping soldiers. There are airships and hero poses and slow-motion arrows. At one point, Damon throws a shield like Captain America. A Godzilla-sized chicken that recites T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land backwards doesn't come running across screen, but if it did, it wouldn't be surprising. The Great Wall looks bonkers.

That's praise, mind you.

The Great Wall is Yimou's first English-language production, and the largest film ever shot entirely in China. If Damon's inclusion strikes you as suspect, well, welcome to modern Hollywood, where a Chinese stamp of approval is more essential to financial success and sustained movie stardom than appealing to American audiences. Thankfully, even if The Great Wall got the greenlight in order to conquer global box office charts, there's masterful moviemaking packed into this short snippet of footage. Yimou is a visionary, and Damon is one of the best actor's working today. I didn't know I needed the Dread Pirate Roberts and a legion of wire-fu warriors fighting against mini Zuuls, but now that I've seen it, I am very, very in. 

The Great Wall will change our lives on February 17, 2017.

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Matt Patches is Thrillist’s Entertainment Editor. He previously wrote for Grantland, Esquire.com, Vulture, The Hollywood Reporter, and The Guardian. Find him on Twitter @misterpatches.

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