THE GREAT WALL is an American/Chinese 2016 epic historical fiction action-adventure film directed by Zhang Yimou and written by Tony Gilroy, Carlo Bernard, Doug Miro, Max Brooks, Edward Zwick, and Marshall Herskovitz, staring Matt Damon, Jing Tian, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe, and Andy Lau.
During the Song dynasty, a few miles north of the Great Wall, William, Tovar, and three other survivors from a European mercenary group are pursued by Khitan bandits. Upon escaping they seek refuge in a cave, but are attacked by a shadowy monster, leaving only William and Tovar alive, the former having slashed off the monster’s hand. The next day, they stumble upon the Great Wall and are taken prisoner by Chinese soldiers, who are led by General Shao, General Lin, and Strategist Wang. The officers have been preparing for a monster invasion which happens once every sixty years. However, they are frightened upon seeing the monster’s hand, identified as a member of the Taotie species, as they believed the invasion was still weeks away. Suddenly, a wave of monsters attack the Great Wall, and the soldiers respond with archery, ballistas, and catapaults which throw burning rocks. Lin leads a company of female solders who jump off the Wall and are pulled back with elastic cords. The monsters are more intelligent and numerous than the soldiers’ expectations, but are repelled with William and Tovar’s assistance, which earns the soldiers’ respect. Later, William and Tovar meet Sir Ballard, a European who, like them, had ventured east twenty-two years ago in search of gun-powder, which might be sold for a fortune back in Europe. However, Ballard was also taken prisoner, and has been serving as an English and Latin teacher. The three men discuss plans to steal gunpowder from the store-room and flee while the soldiers are occupied by battle.
China: 15 December 2016
USA: 17 February 2017
The Great Wall – A look inside (Universal Pictures) HD