In the midst of blockbuster summer movies, Amazon Studios brought us their latest indie war movie, The Wall. Featuring only two actors, The Wall might look less entertaining compared to other large-scale superhero flicks of the season. With their seemingly very limited budget, The Wall surprisingly succeeds to deliver a violent, mind-blowing masterpiece.
The movie starts with two American soldiers in the desert of Iraq. Despite the fact that Iraq War has just ended, Isaac (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Sergeant Matthews is sent to investigate a pipeline construction site. The pair patiently waits 20 hours before determining that the site is clear.
In the middle of a no-man's battlefield, where no one can be seen but these two, Matthews suddenly got shot from out of nowhere. There is only a clearly empty desert around them. Where possibly could the sniper’s been hiding? Isaac secured himself behind a wall ruins while waiting for Matthews to recover. Will he ever find the sniper and bring Matthews home?
A simple story with strong characters
Filmed in only one location, The Wall rely their main focus on the character. Thankfully, the producers have picked the right actor for its protagonist: Golden Globes winner Aaron Taylor-Johnson. His snobbish attitude and thick Southern accent is very convincing, you would forget that he is British. Blazing sun, broken radio, blood-soaked wounds, dehydration, and sandstorms are slowly killing Isaac. Watching his struggle feels like a never-ending suffering. Aaron Taylor-Johnson totally deserves an award for this role.
The movie only has 3 characters: Isaac, Matthews, and Juba the mysterious sniper. All three manage to complete each other perfectly. WWF wrestler John Cena does a good job playing the heroic Sergeant Matthews. Along with Taylor-Johnson, their hilarious babbling and swearing light up the battlefield. Meanwhile, their enemy Juba is only introduced through transmission radio, voiced by Laith Nakli. His voice only is enough to drive us crazy. “Tell me about yourself. I want to get to know you,” he teases poor Isaac as if Isaac’s life means nothing to him. This sick psychopath adds psychological thriller elements to The Wall and makes it more exciting.
Short yet intense
The Wall is a pure adrenaline pumping experience. Although it only faces one enemy, the stakes of life and death feel completely frightening. Through Juba’s radio, Isaac’s dark past is revealed and we can see how PTSD affects those who went to war. There are no unnecessary scenes in The Wall, everything is so tirelessly intense. Looks like director Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow, The Bourne Identity) is already an expert in shooting war action movies that keep audiences hanging on until the last frame. After a lean 90 minutes, this psychological cat and mouse game ends with an unexpected ending that leaves you breathless.
Do not see this movie if you’re only in for John Cena, but do see The Wall if you are a fan of short, clean, pure intense thriller.
Review courtesy – BookMyShow Indonesia Blog. Read reviews of latest films and a whole lot more here.