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Netflix fans stunned as blockbuster flop with DIRE reviews soars up film charts

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NETFLIX users were taken by surprise after a controversial box office flop with a terrible critic score topped the top 10 most-watched movies chart.

The 2017 American and Chinese co-production starring Matt Damon and Pedro Pascal landed on the streaming platform at the start of the month.

Matt Damon as William Garin in The Great Wall

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Matt Damon as William Garin in The Great WallCredit: © Universal Pictures
A 2017 Matt Damon movie has become the sixth most-watched film on US Netflix

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A 2017 Matt Damon movie has become the sixth most-watched film on US NetflixCredit: Universal Pictures

Despite having a 35% Rotten Tomatoes score, The Great Wall has recently become the sixth most-watched film on Netflix US. 

The Great Wall had a budget of $150million and made nearly $335million worldwide at the box office.

According to Deadline, the film’s disappointing performance cost Legendary and Universal $75million.

The 2017 box-office failure and ‘misguided’ monster movie starring The Bourn Supermacy sensation as its leading man was filmed in New Zealand and Quindao, China, in 2015 and premiered in Asia in 2016.

Willem Dafoe, Andy Lau, and Kenny Lin are also featured in the film, which sees Matt play a mercenary warrior named William who discovers various secrets while imprisoned on the Great Wall of China.

The Great Wall tells the compelling tale of two European mercenary warriors, William and Tovar(Pedro), searching for gunpowder near the Great Wall of China after 

The survivors of a monster attack are taken as prisoners by a nameless order led by General Zao (Hanyu Zhang) and strategist Wang (Lau).

The nameless order was formed to fight Tao Tie, a mythological creature that attacks once every three decades.

During imprisonment, Sir Ballad (Willem) frees William and Tovar, and the warriors eventually earn the order’s respect by using their fighting skills.

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The battle is relentless, and the film’s plot thickens as time passes, along with the deaths of thousands of humans and CGI creatures.

The Great Wall’s official synopsis reads: “When a mercenary warrior (Matt Damon) is imprisoned within the Great Wall, he discovers the mystery behind one of the greatest wonders of the world. 

“As wave after wave of marauding beasts besiege the massive structure, his quest for fortune turns into a journey toward heroism as he joins a huge army of elite warriors to confront the unimaginable and seemingly unstoppable force.”

Since its release, some Netflix viewers have taken to X and complained about the film, with a few users even bringing up politics

The film can be watched on UK Amazon Prime Video

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The film can be watched on UK Amazon Prime VideoCredit: Universal Pictures
The Great Wall received some backlash after its release

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The Great Wall received some backlash after its releaseCredit: Universal Pictures

One viewer commented: “The Great Wall. A real piece of s*** Chinese propaganda movie starring Matt Damon now showing on Netflix. It’s good for a laugh.”

Despite the some criticism, not everyone had negative things to say about the film.

Several app users did not specify what they liked about the movie in their tweets, but many described The Great Wall as ‘so good.’

A few critics also praised the film’s fighting sequences, with CNN’s Rian Lowry writing: “A well-paced action movie that doesn’t waste much time on preliminaries or explanations before plunging headlong into a prolonged, elaborately orchestrated fight against a horde of ghastly creatures.”

Vulture writer David Edelstein referred to the film as ‘a hoot-and-a-half’ and Bilge Ebiri from The Village Voice called The Great Wall ‘absolutely dazzling.’

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“The Great Wall is unlike any American blockbuster you’ve seen, a conservative movie with action set pieces that are actually inventive and thrilling enough to be worthwhile,” a critic from RogertEbert.com penned.

The Great Wall was a blockbuster flop and a failure in the eyes of audiences, who gave the film a 42% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

One of the reasons behind the audience score may have been the ‘whitewashing’ controversy behind the film before its US theatre release.

Some reviewers criticised Matt’s casting, believing his role should have gone to someone of Chinese descent.

However, the Ocean’s Eleven star insisted during a press conference in Beijing that the role of William “was always intended to be European.”

Hustlers star Constance Wu caused a frenzy when she tweeted after the release of the film’s trailer: “We have to stop perpetuating the racist myth that a only (sic) white man can save the world.”

During a press conference about the film, Matt said: “Once people see that it’s a monster movie and it’s a historical fantasy and I didn’t take a role away from a Chinese actor… it wasn’t altered because of me in any way.”

Interestingly enough, many of the negative reviews from critics were not directed at the ‘whitewashing’ accusations but instead toward the film as a whole.

Peter Travers from Rolling Stone wrote: “What a bummer that all Chinese master Zhang Yimou and Hollywood star Matt Damon come up with is a B-level creature feature with delusions of grandeur.”

Alissa Wilkinson, a critic from Vox, also wrote a harsh review about The Great Wall, saying: “It is big. It is eye-popping. It is about China. And it is definitely about a legend.”

“It also doesn’t have a single thought in its noggin, but it does have armies of toothy monsters.”

The Great Wall can be streamed on US Netflix and watched on UK Amazon Prime Video.

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