The Month of February held some box office hits including The Great Wall, 50 Shades Darker, and Lego Batman making millions around the globe. These drastically different movie genres reached adults looking for a reason to visit the movies on Valentine’s day or enjoy the long President’s day weekend.
The Great Wall caused debate in expectations despite the popular Chinese Dalian Wanda production team’s large expenses and award winning actor Matt Damon’s protagonist portrayal in the U.S.
The USD box office reports The Wall making $18.4 million, leaving it to compete with 50 shades darker and Lego Batman over this president’s day weekend.
Zhang Yimou, as director budgeting at about 150 million dollars, almost didn’t make the cut within the States but made the most money in China alone with $171 million.
Many worried about Matt Damon’s role as the protagonist due a concern of whitewashing in hollywood. Whitewashing references the high number of white actors taking the place of generally ethnic character position in films. Marvel’s Doctor Strange actors choice as the character “The Ancient One” was actress Tilda Swinton, but fans expected a chinese actor as seen in Marvel comic book portrayals.
Besides concerns, similar to Dr Strange, The Great Wall attracted all fans of intense action sequences, vibrant scenery, and aesthetically attractive medieval costume designs.
This film explores the mythos of The Great wall of China spanning 5,500.3 miles across chinese borders.
Matt Damon plays Willam, an european mercenary in search for black powder, who encounters an unfamiliar creature. William along with a companion mercenary named Tovar, played by Pedro Pascal as seen in Game Of Thrones, run into The Great Wall after fighting against their pursuers.
Both men are then held captive by Commander Chen, played by actor Kenny Lin, until a swarm of Tei Tao, creatures said to be sent by the gods in disapproval of a greedy ruler, attack the Wall and The mercenaries are forced to help chinese soilders. Even though William and Tovar prove their worth, they are forced to stay at the wall to help deter fear of the Tei Tao.
William’s impressive archery skills come in handy with the commander Lin Mae of the graceful bungee jumping spear armed women, played by actress Jian Tian. Their connection does give way when the Tei Tao break through the wall and armies are moved to protect the emperor of china. Name gives William and Tovar permission to leave, but William follows after name in hoped to kill the Tei Tao queen.
The Great Wall serves as an enjoyable fictional film that moves quickly through the plot and makes for an exceptional film to watch for classical chinese action films with an american twist.
For a sequel to the film adaptation and second addition to 50 Shades of Grey, fans didn’t appreciate the style of 50 shades darker directed by James Foley. Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB, notorious for their movie reviews often swaying movie attraction, gave the film poor reviews with two and a half stars on IMDB and nine percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Although critics reviews say otherwise, 50 Shades Darker followed close to Lego Batman with $20 million within its weekend debut. Releasing the film before Valentine’s day on Feb 14, allowed many moviegoers to watch the film in hopes of its success being similar to its predecessor.
For a more all around family friendly film with high eye-catching animation, Lego Batman takes the spotlight making a president’s weekend gross of $33 million.
Will Arnett’s commentary as the 78 year-old iconic DC comics character, Batman, includes fan based Jargon and satire on the many adaptations of Batman through well known films. Even in the first few minutes of the film, a Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Rises vibe is felt as a freight plane is boarded by an unknown villain for it’s precious cargo.
“Batman doesn’t do ships” as he may tell others, but his harmful relationship with The Joker, voiced by Zach Galifianakis, is used throughout the film as an evil ploy for Joker to take over Gotham City. Beside the multicolored lego brick environment in the film there is a focus on Batman’s overall issue in distancing those who care about him. Alongside Will Arnett are the voices of Robin (Michael Cera), the adopted son of Batman, Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson), the new police commissioner of gotham city, and Alfred Pennyworth (Ralph Fiennes), the caretaker and father figure to Bruce Wayne.
From the gloomy Christopher Nolan films in 2000 to the 1966 television show with Adam West, Lego Batman pays homage by making touching scenes with Batman fighting his tragic past losing his parents and finding purpose again to carry shark repellant to stop villainous sharks (Batman:The Movie, 1966).
Knowing about the Batman franchise adds flare to Arnets sharp rhetoric, but stays broad enough to be familiar with “Iron man sucks” as a password to Batman’s computer voiced by Apple’s siri. Say “hey computer” or “hey puter” like Batman does in the film to Siri on apple devices and it will treat you as the caped crusader.