Dir. Zhang Yimou
Hero director Zhang Yimou’s expensive opus sees Matt Damon play a mercenary taken prisoner on the Great Wall of China, during the Song Dynasty. He discovers the wall was built to protect the country from invading alien monsters, and joins the fight to keep them at bay.
The film represents a landmark in international film production, a Chinese film with a huge American star. It's a shame, then, that it plays like a bog standard Hollywood movie. First-class direction and top notch effects make the battle sequences incredibly involving, but when the fighting stops there’s no hiding a paper thin plot or stiff dialogue.
With a ponytail and dodgy accent, Damon fits awkwardly into the mix, putting in one of the most uneven performances of his career. The fact a Western actor is leading an Asian film should be uncomfortable, but in a film this bad, it’s hard to care.