If you are looking for an archery focused movie, The Great Wall looks to be a sure thing.
Admittedly, I’m no movie buff. My family and I aren’t regular goers by any means, and we haven’t been to a movie theater since 2012. Occasionally though, I get caught up on the next big flick through YouTube advertisements. Most movie ads play for the standard 30 seconds and then leave my life forever, but once in a while one grabs my attention. Recently I’ve been seeing more and more ads for The Great Wall, headlined by Matt Damon. It stood out to me only for the archery focus of the movie.
After a bit of research, the plot for The Great Wall seems to go about like this. Two Europeans, Matt Damon and Pedro Pascal, arrive in northwestern China sometime in the unknown past. Their mission is to find some of the legendary gunpowder, steal it, and return to Europe. Unbeknownst to them, they aren’t the first Europeans to try this charade, and quickly wind up in jail for their treachery. While in a prison located in the Great Wall, they learn the wall was constructed to keep out a legendary beast called the Tao Tei. These human eating beasts swoop into China once every 60 years to devour every human being in the country. Damon and his comrade quickly earn a place among the Chinese, after telling the story of how they killed one of the Tao Tei on their journey. The rest of the movie tells the tale of how the Europeans help the Chinese fend off their country from invasion.
In relation to archery, this movie appears to be jammed full of it. From Matt Damon’s bow (appears to be a horse bow), to giant Chinese crossbows, archery is around every corner. Check out this trailer if you haven’t already given it a watch.
As you can see, not only is archery prominent, but Matt Damon’s character shows off some real skill. Although the shooting is obviously computer animated, Damon did spend some time preparing for the archery portion of the movie. In fact, at one point he traveled to Hungary to spend time under the tutalage of world-record horse archer Lajos Kassai. Although it is impossible to tell Damon’s real skill with the bow, it is nice to see he is trying to represent archery in an accurate way.
If you are the movie going type,you may already be making plans to see The Great Wall. It hit theaters February 17, and is likely in a theatre near you. Hopefully it is worth the ticket price, if only for the archery scenes. It might give you a little motivation to pick up your bow this offseason for some extra practice. I’m doubting it will get my family into theaters, but may warrant a rental in a few months.