This is Zhang Yimou's epic fantasy movie, and he pulled off an incredible feat of the imagination. I describe it as fantasy versus historical, because the monsters did not exist in historical times. The CGI was amazing, and took me back to the advent of Lord of the Rings. The movie was fast-paced, and the two hours zipped by quickly.
I looked forward to this movie because of Andy Lau and Lu Han.
Matt Damon, who had suprised me as Jason Bourne many years ago, stepped up the plate in his first Chinese movie. His only flaw was the accent. He spoke with an American accent, that did not exist before 1776. His character was an European mercenary in China during the Song dynasty.
Jing Tian was credible as Commander Lin Mae.
I was very impressed that the scriptwriter entrusted a lot of English dialog to Andy Lau, who showed his competency in the second language. Andy deserved third billing.
Lu Han did a very good job as the apprentice soldier, whose work experience was in the kitchen.
The monsters looked like relatives of the alien species in the Alien movie.