WARNING: The following review contains spoilers, I’m telling you now so you don’t pretend to be outraged later.
Short…Simple…and to the point. That’s the best way to describe Amazon Studios The Wall. I forgot to mention brutal because this film’s crippling tension is so great it makes an 81-minute film feel like 3 days long. A U.S. Army spotter Isaac (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and his sniper Matthews (John Cena), are conducting a counter sniper mission in Iraq. After waiting 20 hours to decide whether the site is clear is not, Matthews is shot by an Iraqi sniper named Juba, who draws US Soldiers to the area to be killed. Isaac is also wounded and with no food, no water, a leg injury and no functioning radio, he is pinned against a small wall with an injured soldier and a deadly sniper he cannot find.
The film is carried by Aaron Taylor-Johnson who has to sell the brutal conditions of being injured and alone in the middle of a hostile desert. The scale of this film is very small, Cena and Johnson are the only actors in the film with Laith Nakli providing the voice for Jabu. The battle in this film is much more psychological than physical due to the fact that real sniper warfare is nothing like it is in Call of Duty games. With no way to tell where his foe is, Isaac must use his wits to get out of an impossible situation against a guy who is always one step ahead. If you are looking for a storybook ending, you won’t get it here. Just like real war, there are no good/bad endings, it’s only survival vs death. The Wall is an intimate cinematic thriller that despite its small-scale is one of the best films so far this year.
OFFICIAL RATING: ****