The Great Wall poster

The Great Wall

Certificate: 12A

Starring: Matt Damon, Jing Tian, Willem Dafoe, Pedro Pascal

Release date: 2017

3 out of 5


A monster movie for older kids and adults seeking something that will entertain the eyes without straining the brain, Chinese/Hollywood production The Great Wall stars Matt Damon as a mercenary who finds himself fighting more than just a human army.

Wandering around the desert with his pal (Pascal) in search of valuable black powder that turns into fire, William (Damon) is attacked by a creature and manages to kill it and keep its dragon-like arm as a souvenir. When the pair come across the thousands-strong army that patrols the Great Wall, Commander Lin (Jing Tian) and her warriors explain that the limb belongs to a nasty, lizardy creature and there are hundreds more of them who appear every sixty years to attack and eat anyone in their path (and yes, they’re due back right about…. now). The wall, you see, wasn’t built as a tourist attraction that can be seen from space, Lin’s ancestors put it up to keep these nasty beasties out.

While the movie is bogged down by unanswered questions (why do these creatures only come once every 60 years, for starters), plot holes and clunky dialogue, when the action starts you can’t help but be impressed by the spectacle of it all. The swarming creatures are fun, but most impressive scenes are the martial arts displays, the warriors who bungee jump off the Great Wall to attack, and the climax that begins with a hot air balloon chase (yes, really) and ends in a stained glass windowed tower.

It’s not a great movie by any means, but if you’re looking for a fast-paced, impressive-looking monster movie, it ticks all the boxes.

Is The Great Wall suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...

This film is a 12A certificate, (PG-13 in the US) and is aimed at kids over the age of 11. Younger viewers may find the monsters scary, especially as they have large mouths with lots of teeth and often roar directly into the camera.

Some lesser characters do die, but little human blood is shown on screen (there is some green monster blood, however).

There are numerous battle scenes in which arrows are fired, the creatures are sliced in half, warriors are eaten, but the action does not dwell on the injuries.

Try our Great Wall quiz – just click HERE.

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