WARNING: Spoilers lie ahead for some plot elements of ‘The Great Wall.’ If you haven’t seen the film yet – congratulations to you! – and you want to avoid knowing these things, then feel free to stop reading now.
So, ‘The Great Wall’ is a thing that happened in theaters this past weekend. Making only $18 million at the box office this weekend (on a budget of over $150 million), critics and audiences alike are not being overly kind to the film; I personally would best describe the movie as “bad alt-history fan fiction meets a poorly-put-together Cirque du Soleil show,” if that tells you anything. And that doesn’t even scrape the tip of the iceberg on the “white-washing” issue of having Matt Damon take the lead role in a film all about China and the country’s proud warrior history.
In the film, Damon is a traveler that “accidentally” stumbles across the Great Wall of China – which in this universe, is being used to keep giant alien lizard-things from attacking the rest of China, particularly the capital city of Bianliang. The Chinese are apparently extra-hard workers because the premise states that they built a 5,500-mile long wall to keep these creatures “out,” even though the wall doesn’t really have a starting or ending point, so the creatures could have easily gone around (they just went under instead, neat!). Perhaps the Chinese should have just built the wall in a big circle around the spot where the alien carrying asteroid crashed, maybe? Work smarter, not harder, that kind of thing?
I digress; this article is about Damon’s character, William Garin, who came from… somewhere in white-heavy Europe. Does Damon even know where the character is supposed to be from? Not really, apparently; in a recent interview with Yahoo! Movies, the actor waxed poeticly about the weird, wandering accent that he decided to give his character:
“The accent, we just made up, literally. We kind of thought, theoretically, what we needed, it couldn’t be modern English. It had to be understandable. And then [dialect coach Tim Monich] made rules for it, the way he does for any dialect we’re working on. So we kind of cobbled it together that way.”
So, there you have it, folks – research and accuracy be damned – Damon and the film crew just made up some random crap and threw it on camera. Which, to be fair, keeps pace with the rest of the finished product of the film.
If you’re full of self-loathing, you can see ‘The Great Wall’ in US theaters now.
Tony Schaab wonders who would win in an epic, Gladiator-style fight between the Grumpy Cat and the “This is Fine” Dog – an animal-heavy meme battle for the ages! A lover of most things sci-fi and horror, Tony is an author by day and a DJ by night. Come hang out with Tony on Facebook and Twitter to hear him spew semi-funny nonsense and get your opportunity to finally put him in his place.