7 reasons to be excited about The Great Wall 7 reasons to be excited about The Great Wall
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Win a holiday to China and the Great Wall with Vue

The Great Wall, starring Matt Damon, is now on sale – and if you buy online with us, you could win a holiday to China to see the Great Wall itself.

Set in China’s mythological past, The Great Wall promises to be like no monster flick you’ve ever seen before. Here are seven reasons why...

1. Because it’s Game Of Thrones meets Guardians of the Galaxy, with kung fu.

Plus plenty of other film genres besides. The film opens like a spaghetti western in the Gobi Desert, as European mercenaries Garin (Damon) and Tovar (Pedro Pascal, who played Oberyn Martell on Game of Thrones) flee bandits, hide in a cave, and come across the giant claw of an unknown creature. They eventually reach the Great Wall and are captured by the Nameless Order, an elite army led by General Shao - who seems very interested in the monstrous claw...

7 reasons to be excited about The Great Wall

2. Because Chinese action film plots are always that little bit weirder

Remember Hero, in which a million arrows were fired at a calligraphy school? Or House of Flying Daggers, in which the blind heroine had a sword fight while playing a room full of drums with her sleeves? Those were by Zhang Yimou, the 66 year-old director who Matt Damon has been wanting to work with for two decades. His highly individual, painterly take on action movies weaves together fast-paced action, beautiful cinematography and the weirder elements of Chinese mythology.

In The Great Wall the enemy are the Taotie, mythical beasts that rise locust-like from the Jade Mountain every 60 years to devour humans and everything else in their wake.

3. Because it’s the biggest-budget film Matt Damon has ever been in

Costing $150 million, The Great Wall is not only the biggest-budget film ever made in China but the biggest budget film Matt Damon has worked on: last year’s smash hit The Martian cost only $108 million, and that was set on another planet.

7 reasons to be excited about The Great Wall

4. Because of the truly incredible visuals

Damon said that when he first went to meet Zhang Yimou, his storyboards looked like “The Great Wall as if designed by Leonardo DaVinci” – so he signed up immediately. Zhang is famous for his bold use of color and lustrous lighting: Hero in particular was painted in bold, screen-filling fields of primary colours. Here it’s slightly subtler, thanks to Memoirs of a Geisha production designer John Myhre’s carefully-chosen Chinese period details, but the director’s artistic touch is on display in his long panoramic sweeps.

5. Because the world’s best filmmakers used the world’s most up-to-date equipment

The directors of photography are Zhang regular Zhao Xiaoding and English-born Stuart Dryburgh, who shot 1993’s triple-Oscar winning The Piano and last year’s mind-bending Alice Through the Looking Glass. They used the new Arri Alexa 65 and other state-of-the-art cameras so that the leaping fighters, roaring rockets and ravening beasts move with pin-sharp clarity no matter how huge the screen is. Editing is by Mary Jo Markey (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Craig Wood (the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise), the best in the world at putting you right in the centre of a frenzied fight scene.

7 reasons to be excited about The Great Wall

6. Because this is what the future looks like

Now that China is making huge, $150 million-dollar blockbusters with Hollywood’s brightest talent behind and in front of the camera, we may have to get used to a whole new kind of action blockbuster. After all, China builds 27 new cinemas every day. It’s a fast-growing audience which by 2019 will be the biggest in the world. That could mean new stories for all of us, new stunts, new monsters and new ways of flinging heroes through the air. And that can’t be bad for action fans.

7. Because you can win an incredible holiday to China

Buy at least one ticket for this all-action blockbuster before 2nd March and you could win return flights to Beijing, four nights in a five star hotel, a visit to the Great Wall as well as Beijing’s Forbidden City and Summer Palace. Head here to get your tickets.