As a movie, The Great Wall is often goofy and occasionally breathtaking; it's more swashbuckling and spry than the trailers suggested, and it contains enough inventively staged battle sequences, clever lines, and striking images to make it watchable. The film's director is Zhang Yimou, the mind behind classic mid-'00s wuxia films like Hero and House of Flying Daggers, and he finds visual poetry in computer-generated monster battles. (One sequence involving whistling arrows is particularly evocative.) As a document of Hollywood's tricky financial relationship with China, The Great Wall is a fascinating curio. As a movie about Matt Damon doing a weird accent, it's a masterpiece.
And, unsurprisingly, critics have taken notice. In his review for New York, David Edelstein notes that Damon plays a character who is "either English or Irish -- I think Irish." Buzzfeed's Alison Willmore aptly describes Damon's performance as "unplaceably-accented." In USA Today, critic Brian Truitt sniffed out some Scottish in there and a hint of "original-recipe Damon." Slate's Sam Adams was even more succinct in his assessment: "the accent, whatever it’s meant to be, comes and goes."