THE GREAT WALL: THE ART OF THE FILM Book Review

Release Date: February 14, 2017
Author: Abbie Bernstein
Purchase: Amazon [affiliate link]

This product was provided for free for the purpose of this review. All opinions are our own.

Titan Books have outdone themselves with the release of The Great Wall: The Art of The Film, a coffee table book celebrating the recently released Matt Damon-starring action film. This 204-page, super-high-quality art book is a must-own for fans of the series and one of Titan’s best releases to date.

With its unique binding and gold-edged glossy pages, this hardcover book by Abbie Bernstein walks readers through almost every aspect of the film, from production design and creature effects to costumes, plot and character breakdowns.

Titan has been known for going the extra mile with its art books by adding nice creative flourishes within its pages, and that’s no exception here. Some pages fold out, displaying a panoramic view of concept sketches and designs; some pages are translucent, highlighting the various corps featured in the film; others are completely transparent, save for an accent title bar along the right side. One of the more notable additions is an authentic looking envelope tied together with a string containing pages from the Hall of Knowledge from the movie.

The book is broken up into sections beginning with interviews, moving into the lore of the film, followed by a production breakdown. Everything has a really solid flow, and although the art is the main feature on display, there’s plenty of text to put all the great photos and designs in context. It’s also very nice to get to see more of the detailing on the armor and weaponry that each of the individual battle units wear and carry, something not as easy to examine while the film is playing full speed.

I’m always amazed at the amount of care and detail that go into these art books, which is why I keep coming back to them, even for films that I otherwise wouldn’t be too interested in seeing. These books put the amount of work that goes into a film into perspective, hopefully generating more respect for the craft, and this book is certainly no exception. The only weak spot, I would say, is the lackluster cover. The gold etching is a nice touch, but the rest is a slightly reworked version of the poster, which in and of itself is fairly mediocre.

I would still only recommend picking this up if you were a fan of the film or at least its aesthetic. The Great Wall: The Art of the Film is an impeccably designed, content-rich item that is certainly a great complement to the movie but can also be enjoyed even if you haven’t yet checked out the movie.