Action-packed epic House of Flying Daggers which became an international hit for shocking audiences with its eye-shatteringly physics defying action scenes along with its strange curve of natural human abilities. Since then director Zhang Yimou has become no stranger to big-budget productions. However what he is a stranger to is accusations for being racist, we all know that movies get criticized even months before their release date but never has a film been shambled by racist comments. Which is what happened to his English-language debut The Great Wall, as soon as the trailer debuted on Youtube on 28th July 2016 the comments section was riddled with racist comments, stating that Yimou is ‘whitewashing’ or submitting to a ‘white savior context’ through positioning the film’s star Matt Damon, as the main heart over a Chinese cast.
However the accusations were short-lived after hitting cinemas in December it soon became a big hit, opening on its weekend to $67.6 million which is the fourth highest opening weekend in Chinese history. The film itself has an interesting premise involving one of the greatest architectural achievements known to man, however instead of teaching us about the use of the wall itself it riffs a hint of magic, as in the film the wall is attacked by a gigantic force of monstrous creatures called the Tao Tei that attack the wall every sixty years. Here Yimou uses his natural traits well; there are long panoramic sweeps over a stunning backdrop, there is a lot of action, also like House of Flying Daggers there is a lot of physics defying blade throws and a look at the unnatural human abilities.