The Great Wall takes place in China during the Song dynasty, as an organization commissioned by the Imperial Court, known only as The Nameless Order protects China and the world from an army of monsters ascending the Great Wall. The film is directed by Zhang Yimou, starring Matt Damon as William Garin (a European mercenary), and Jing Tian as Commander Lin Mae of the Crane Troop.
The movie opens with a group of mercenaries searching for black powder (gunpowder), being chased by native tribes people in the desert. Most of the men do not make it, though four survive, two being Damon’s character, William, and Tovar (played by Pedro Pascal). As night falls they take shelter in a cave when out of nowhere, they are attacked by a monster. The creature kills the other two mercenaries, leaving William and Tovar to fight the creature themselves. The two characters manage to cut off the monster’s arm, sending the creature flying off a cliff. When morning arrives they take the arm with them as they continue their journey still pursued by natives. While on the run, the pair crosses a ridge and are met by sight of the Great Wall.
William and Tovar are captured by the Nameless Order and are questioned about how they obtained the arm. They explain how they killed it, and once they finish, a messenger runs in and informs the interrogation officers that the wall is under siege. Alarm drums rage as soldiers get into position to face a hoard of monsters charging the wall.
Massive trebuchets and crossbow turrets extend from the wall while the crane troops dive down, spearing the creatures. The creatures climb the wall, jumping into the infantry, as William breaks free of his restraints to help. Naturally, William and Tovar save the day killing the monsters that made it onto the wall, helping to drive back the monsters, though many crane soldiers are left outside the wall.
To sum up the ending without any major spoilers, the creatures trick the army when they dig under the wall, so the defenders are forced to use their highly flawed air balloons to protect the capital and another battle ensues.
This was a very entertaining movie and if you haven’t seen it, or have read through the few spoilers in this, go and watch it for yourself. If you have seen it, recommend it to a friend, because I definitely recommend this to fans of action movies, or even if you are just a fan of Matt Damon.