Sandy Kenyon reviews Matt Damon's 'The Great Wall'

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Sandy Kenyon has the movie review.

Matt Damon is headed back on the big screen, this time fighting ancient monsters at the Great Wall of China.

The movie generated a lot of buzz for its high-profile stars and director, but is it worth your time and money?

The Oscar winner came under fire for his latest film after early trailers for "The Great Wall" showed him as the hero of the Chinese people. Online critics complained Chinese history was being whitewashed, but those naysayers hadn't seen the finished movie - which was made by China's most famous director.

It's a film on a vast scale: part historical epic, part creature feature. It is the vision of a man often described as the Chinese Steven Spielberg, and plenty of the dialogue is in his native language.

Damon's character finds himself in the middle of China as the hero, sure, but he's also being paid to sell this uniquely Chinese project to the rest of the world.

As a cultural event, it is fascinating: Chinese legends and martial arts presented within a Hollywood-style monster movie.

The "Tao Tei" arrive early and often, trying to break through the Great Wall of China to lay waste to the Imperial City and beyond. When the movie stars show up, the best, brightest and bravest are all that stand between the monsters and disaster.

Willem Dafoe's character, who's been there for decades, welcomes two adventurers looking for gun powder. They're British for some reason, though Damon doesn't go too broad with it.

The movie is interesting, but not absorbing or even entertaining. The best part, though, is that it ends just when your head is starting to hurt from watching all the carnage in 3-D.

"The Great Wall" is already a big hit in China, and it's easy to see why. Given how fast the Dhinese market is growing, there will be more of these co-productions to come. But this cultural experiment is destined to be more admired than truly enjoyed.
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