The Great Wall

Theatrical Release: February 17, 2017
DVD Release: May 9, 2017
The Great Wall


European mercenaries searching for black powder become embroiled in the defense of the Great Wall of China against a horde of monstrous creatures.

Dove Review

“The Great Wall” is an action-packed movie with a moral lesson: unchecked greed will not bring happiness. Two westerners, William (Matt Damon) and Tovar (Pedro Pascal), are captured near the Great Wall of China, 5,500 miles wide, with the intention of bringing gunpowder back to the West for a great reward. But they soon find themselves involved in a battle against the Tao Tei, ferocious monstrous creatures that are led by their queen. Only by killing the queen can they be destroyed.

William shows his ability with a bow and soon he finds himself aiding and assisting the general, Commander Lin Mae (Tian Jing), following the death of her father. However, Tovar is unhappy with William and wants to steal the gunpowder and escape. Yet William finds himself not only believing in the cause of the warriors, he is also drawn to Lin Mae. He proves himself to be a warrior, but when a man named Ballard (Willem Dafoe) plots to escape with Tovar and the gun powder, they might mess things up for William.

There is a lot of action for action-lovers—battles and warriors swinging on chains and ropes, and even the use of hot air balloons for battle. There is a sense of honor in the movie, doing the right thing because it is right. And the goal of killing the queen of the creatures is a motivating force for the characters and the plot. However, due to the violence and multiple scenes which feature blood, we are prevented from awarding the movie our Dove Seal; but there is a lot to like about the film.

Content Description

Faith: None
Integrity: None
Sex: None.
Language: Good G-1; H-8; sh*tty-1; mother of G*d-1; ba*tard-1; b*tch-2; idiot-1.
Violence: A lot of violence including ferocious creatures attacking and killing many human soldiers, and an army hitting soldiers with arrows as well as the monsters being speared, smitten with arrows, and killed in multiple scenes with blood seen coming from their mouths; an ax is used to hit a creature in the head and kill it; some blood seen on the various creatures as they are wounded and/or die; explosions which kill creatures and one scene of exploding gunpowder that probably kills several people nearby; a rope and weights are pulled and fall on a man, knocking him out.
Drugs: A potion is used to put a ferocious creature to sleep.
Nudity: Scars are seen on a shirtless man; a few soldiers' abs are seen.
Other: Betrayal; death and grief; the question is asked which of the gods would create the scary monstrous creatures; a jump scene with a creature leaping up to attack and a few people in the audience definitely jumped!


Company: Universal Pictures
Director: Yimou Zhang
Genre: Adventure
Runtime: 103 min.
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter