Taking a slight breather from the overstated actioners that have defined his career of late, Doug Liman presents The Wall, which focuses in on an intense battle of wits – blurring the line somewhat between good an evil, to make for a suspenseful thriller reminiscent of Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson plays Isaac, an American soldier stationed in the Middle East, with only his fellow soldier Matthews (John Cena) for company. Questioning quite what they’re supposed to be doing in this derelict, seemingly uninhabited area – the pair find themselves under attack from a lethal sniper (Laith Nakli). After Matthews is injured, Isaac is left to find solace behind a wall – and the modest sized, unsteady concrete barrier is all that separates this young man from his death, while the perpetrator has found a way to communicate with his prey over his radio receiver.
Despite the introduction of the sniper – via walkie talkie – The Wall does make for a film that tests the viewer’s patience as we progress towards the grand finale. While evidently vying to thrive in its tedium, to place us in the same shoes as the protagonist, where every passing second feels like a lifetime – it does detract from our engagement somewhat.
The Wall is one of those pictures that doesn’t have an awful lot wrong with it, it just seems to be lacking in any real sense of purpose, or tangible point. Compelling in parts, profound in others, and yet the rest of the time is spent wondering when this bloody wall is going to crumble so we can all just move on.
The Wall is released on July 28th.