A surprise Matt Damon monster film has entered the top 10 list of Netflix in the past couple of weeks. The 2016 Zhang Yimou film, The Great Wall, has nestled itself in the number five spot with 7.69million watch hours as of this week.
Directed by Yimou, known for his visually stunning films, this ambitious project combined the talents of American and Chinese filmmakers to create a unique cinematic experience. Starring Matt Damon, Jing Tian, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe, and Andy Lau, the film received praise for its action sequences despite opening to mixed reviews.
The Great Wall managed to gross an impressive $335million worldwide. However, its high production and marketing costs led to financial losses estimated as high as $75million, which meant it was dubbed a box office dud. The Great Wall has found a new lease on life, making its way up the Netflix charts.
The Great Wall follows two European mercenaries, played by Matt Damon and Pedro Pascal, who find themselves imprisoned within the Great Wall in China. Their initial quest for gunpowder quickly turns into a battle for survival as they join forces with the Chinese army to combat a terrifying alien threat.
Prior to its release, The Great Wall faced controversy for its casting choices, particularly the inclusion of white actors in a story set in ancient China. The film was accused of whitewashing and perpetuating the white saviour narrative. In response to the criticism, director Zhang Yimou defended the film, emphasising that Matt Damon’s character was not intended for a Chinese actor. Zhang highlighted the movie’s significance in showcasing Chinese culture and assembling one of the largest Chinese casts ever seen on the big screen.
As per IndieWire, Yimou had stated that “In many ways The Great Wall is the opposite of what is being suggested. For the first time, a film deeply rooted in Chinese culture, with one of the largest Chinese casts ever assembled, is being made at tentpole scale for a world audience. I believe that is a trend that should be embraced by our industry.”
Well, you can watch it and come to your own conclusion. Or you can give the other nine on the global top 10 a chance: The Mother, 2 Hearts, Missing, The Son, Victim/Suspect, Ted, Anna Nicole Smith: You Don’t Know Me, The Boss Baby, A Man Called Otto.