Matt Damon defends 'The Great Wall' against claims of whitewashing

Matt Damon leads a group of 11th-century European mercenaries in The Great Wall

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Co-starring Pedro Pascal, Jing Tian, Willem Dafoe and Andy Lau, The Great Wall is to open in US theaters on Friday.

While Chinese blockbuster The Great Wall has been roundly criticized for crafting its story around a white protagonist, no matter how you feel about the film's politics, it's hard not to be impressed by the grandiose architectural feat at its center. Seeing Matt Damon with long hair has already turned into one of the most weird and unsettling pop culture experiences of the past year, simply because Damon has become known for his sharply trimmed short hair for the bulk of his acting career.

The Great Wall is rated 14A. Pascal has appreciated Yimou's films from an early age. That's partially because instead of fighting each other, the characters are fighting generic-looking monsters, which are swarming the actual Great Wall of China and threatening to overrun the world. Lucky for William and Tovar, the Nameless Order could use some help right about now-the Westerners have bumbled into their turf just as the Taotie are attacking, as they do every 60 years.

However, most Americans support Trump's plan to build a border wall, according to a recent Rasmussen poll. The initial display by the Chinese army is so impressive - giant crossbows operated by soldiers in dazzling crimson; drummers whipping commands into war skins with blue tassels; a high-flying brigade of cerulean-armored, spear-throwing female warriors - that the interlopers just watch in awe. "In the movie, The Great Wall symbolizes the safeguard of peace and national spirit", he continues. Director Zhang Yimou's visual signatures are present: audacious color design, billowing fabrics, dizzying camera work, high-flying acrobatics. Damon's character is less "white savior" and more "white helper", with Lin (Tian Jing) emerging as our hero - poised, talented, a great ponytail.

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