When two American snipers are trapped behind an ever-crumbling wall by a lethal Iraqi snipe, they have no choice but to play his vicious game.
The Wall can, and probably was supposed to be seen as a new take on the old thriller genre. The hero, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, is trapped by a “boogeyman” villain, Laith Nakli (whom we never see) and has to defeat him with only his wit and cunning. Or so we think.
The bright spot of The Wall is the cast. Recent Golden Globe winner Aaron-Taylor Johnson practically carries the film from start to finish. His non-descript, southern accent is good enough as he conveys the gamut of emotions. Laith Nakli also delivers as the voice of ‘Juba’, the sniper. And then there is John Cena as Commanding Officer Matthews. That’s really where the positives for this film stop.
The film starts off strong as director Doug Liman sets the wheels in motion. But at a certain point the suspense begins to wear off and the story starts to drag. The film’s third act doesn’t have a surprise twist as the course of action is expected and the payoff a bit stale.
The film, in all its action glory, was painfully slow. It is one thing to have a thriller backed by the Iraq War, but it’s another to have no real action. The movie could have used a re-edit to trim about twenty minutes of unproductive footage.
In hindsight the best acting in the world couldn’t have saved this film. While it had a great premise, it probably should have gone through another 203 re-writes. Maybe then The Wall would have been a film worth recommending.