Chinese director Zhang Yimou marries the historical grandeur of his Oscar-winning Hero (2002) to the marauding-monster action of the Lord of the Rings cycle for this overblown action fantasy. During the Song Dynasty, two Western mercenaries (Matt Damon, Pedro Pascal) encounter the Great Wall and are captured by a secret military society that’s dedicated to fighting off a legion of hideous beasts (whose giant, hairless bodies are canine but whose mouths have hundreds of teeth). Budgeted at $150 million, this is Zhang’s most expensive film ever, though its epic imagery—the rows of soldiers, the rain of spears, the surging forces—is undercut by the Saturday-matinee cheesiness of the concept. With Tian Jing, Willem Dafoe, and Andy Lau.
The Great Wall
PG-13 • 1 hour 44 min • 2017