Warriors and Merchants: A Word About The Great Wall

Crystel 2022-04-21 09:01:59

This short comment is only based on the impression in my mind as I just walked out of the cinema. The depth of thinking is limited, and there may be errors in the memory of the plot and details of the scene. The text is also a stream of consciousness. Sorry. Due to the many controversies about this movie recently, before getting to the point, allow me to put forward a "pre-understanding" that one should have when watching this movie. "The Great Wall" is a commercial film "Matt Damon Badaling Bloody Battle for Godzilla". I don't think it's necessary to be too harsh on its narrative logic, and it's not Tarkovsky to compare it to, but the Ultraman vs Godzilla series and other superhero movies. In this sense, neither the camera nor the plot is surprising: outsiders intervene in a crisis, and finally resolve the crisis with special abilities that the locals do not have. In the process, different value systems collide and understand, forming a The main line of the plot; in the use of lenses, montages with an average of less than 2 seconds are common techniques in such commercial films; and the strategic choice of stars to satisfy different audiences should not be called a failure, but a failure. successful. Also, it should be pointed out that from an identity politics perspective, the film is clearly full of politically incorrect Hollywood stereotypes, such as a white man as a savior, a Latino as a sidekick, the presentation of women, the unfamiliar foreign In the culture of demonization into gluttonous and so on. These issues should be dealt with separately in the text.
I just want to talk about one point, the meaning of Jing Tian's last sentence, "Actually we are a kind of person". Two distinct values ​​are consciously themed in the film's creator narrative: fighting for the country and fighting for profit. In Jing Tian's words to Matt Damon, do you want to be a soldier or a businessman? As I will show below, Jing Tian first transformed Matt Damon from a businessman into a warrior mentally, and finally revealed to him that she had been a businessman herself all along. In my interpretation, this film is expressing the idea that the so-called serving the country and the people is a tool for self-interest. (This kind of thinking is worthy of criticism, and I am only analyzing the ideas expressed in the film here.)
When the bound Matt Damon and Pedro saw such an organized, disciplined and high-tech unit fighting on the tower, they were amazed at the combat capability of this unit, and on the other hand did not understand why, these Humans can do this and fight without regard for personal gain or loss. And such an army did not win until he came to the rescue. This misunderstanding reflects the opposition of two values. This opposition is unfolded in the character setting of Jing Tian and Matt Damon. In a conversation between Matt Damon and Pedro after he was released from prison as a hero, Pedro jokingly said that Matt Damon had to kill him to be like him. This is a way for the author to make clear to the audience the initial setting that Matt Damon is selling his force for profit. The original purpose of the two of them coming to China to find black powder was to become more powerful fighters, that is, mercenaries with higher commissions. They are not ashamed of money and are typical representatives of "fighting for profit". On the other hand, the initial setting of General Lin, played by Jing Tian, ​​is an excellent young man who "fights for the country". In the first battle, when most of the male generals and warriors were hiding on the city walls and attacking from a distance, she was under orders to risk the ropes to melee the gluttons. Her performance of fighting bravely regardless of her life and death conveyed a message to her leaders and audience that she truly fought for her country.
The three dialogues between Jing Tian and Matt Damon about values ​​are the clues to the narrative of the whole film. At the banquet after the first battle, Jing Tian was surprised and disdainful of Matt Damon's mercenary values, namely "fighting for profit", and asked, "How many flags have you fought for?" Matt Damon replied, can't remember. Jing Tian disagreed with this kind of value and showed to Matt Damon that only fighting for the country out of loyalty is the correct value. When the mercenary Matt Damon said, I am just a businessman, Jing Tian Take this opportunity and say to him, no, you are a warrior. So she said, we are not one kind of people. The demarcation between Jing Tian and Matt Damon is not a simple ideological statement, but the former pushes Matt Damon away in terms of sexual tension, prompting Matt Damon to find this increased distance, And spontaneously accept the former values.
The second conversation between Jing Tian and Matt Damon about values ​​occurred after Matt Damon offered to capture a gluttonous glutton for experimentation. At this time, he had been inspired by the values ​​Jing Tian had instilled in him. He began to be willing to fight gluttons for this country. This is further confirmed by Pedro's admonition to him, that you have to act like a coward so you can run away easily. Matt Damon initially questioned the reliability of the rope. At this time, Jing Tian proposed a concept that runs through the whole book, "trust". Here, "trust" has been used as the only Chinese word in the English communication between the two, except that English was used when explaining the meaning to Matt Damon for the first time. This means that this is an important theoretical concept that Jing Tian instilled in Matt Damon, and his meaning can only be understood in the constant utterance of the original text of the word, just as we mentioned the two "experiences" of Benjamin. The concept of (Erlebnis vs Erfahrung) must be experienced the same in German. In the following text, Matt Damon has also been trying to pronounce the word in a standard way, which proves that he is trying to understand the theory proposed by Jing Tian. Jing Tian tried to convey such a message to Matt Damon. It is the rope of trust, which gives us such a strong fighting power. It is the courage of a man to fight for his own interests. With trust, we have such a powerful empire. and strong military forces. At this time, the author once again themed the collision of the two values. Matt Damon said we are not one kind of people.
However, Matt Damon has been inspired by Jing Tian's lofty values ​​to become a warrior who fights for honor. This was confirmed in his heroic battle to capture the glutton. Jing Tian, ​​who has been promoted to the new commander, used black powder to rescue Matt Damon, confirming the existence of "trust" to Matt Damon. This trust transformed Matt Damon from a mercenary fighting for profit to a loyal soldier fighting for his country. It should be pointed out that Matt Damon's fight for the country did not consciously stand at the height of loyalty and patriotism, but was connected by the rope and sexual tension of "trust" with Jing Tian. This was proved in Matt Damon's subsequent decision to give up his escape with William Foss and Pedro to rescue Jing Tian. Incidentally, William Foss's escape from Pedro alone provides a counter-example of trust.
The third theme of values ​​is the top priority, and it appears at the end, after Jing Tian paid tribute to the Hussar General for destroying the taotie. Jing Tian said to Matt Damon: "In fact, we are a kind of person." On the surface, Jing Tian used his own values ​​of "fighting for the country" to complete the ideological transformation of Matt Damon and came for the black powder Matt Damon not only regarded the Chinese people's defense against gluttony as his own, and fought bravely to kill the enemy, but also gave up black powder and chose "trust", that is, taking his friends home. However, in fact, Jing Tian's character has always been a businessman. Her words can also be understood this way: she wants to show Matt Damon that she is also a person who fights for interests, no different from him. She skillfully used the "trust" of Matt Damon, Zhang Hanyu, Andy Lau, Lu Han and others to become a general of Hussars. Different from Matt Damon, the characters created by Jing Tian are more greedy. She herself has clearly expressed that people are sometimes more greedy than gluttons; The positive image of the country for the people, on the one hand, it is necessary to obtain the power to truly control the entire northwest. All in all, this film shows that General Lin, created by Jing Tian, ​​in the war against gluttonous gluttons, manipulates everyone around him step by step, including the foreigners who appear by chance, to realize his personal ambitions in the officialdom.

View more about The Great Wall reviews

Extended Reading

The Great Wall quotes

  • Commander Lin Mae: Why did you go over the Wall?

    William: Xinren... did I say it right?

    Commander Lin Mae: Thank you.

  • Tovar: [to William] You think they see you as some kind of hero? A man of virtue? Maybe you can fool them, but I know what you are. You know what you are. A thief, a liar, and a killer. You can never undo things you have done. And you will never be anything.