Not often one can be entertained for an hour and a half with only two people on screen for 129 minutes of the film, pretty impressive feat if you ask me!
The wall takes place in 2007 as things are starting to “wind down” in the Middle East with the United States gaining the upper hand on the war on terrorism. Matthews (John Cena) plays your stereotypical meat head militant guru with no fear as an elite sniper. Deployed to investigate the ambush of a security detail and pipe line workers that aimed to extract Middle East oil to help boost “the Iraqi economy,” it was supposed to be an easy detail. Upon arrival and 20 hours scouting the area in the blistering heat, Matthews departs his partner and eyes, Isaac (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) for a closer inspection of the corpses the litter the landscape.
Right when all seems clear, the whining whistle of a sniper bullet connects with Matthews’ abdomen and drops him in his tracks. Isaac must protect his comrade and runs to assist. Dodging with zigs and zags, Isaac knows all the tricks to stay out of the enemies cross hairs and to make connecting impossible for the itchy trigger finger that is lurking somewhere in the distance. Reaching Matthews does not present hopeful outcomes as a slight pause results in taking a bullet to the knee while barely escaping for his own life by jumping behind “the wall”.
Isaac realizes he is mortally wounded if he cannot receive medivac assistance in the near future. Trying everything to bring his training and wit toward victory over his foe, Isaac faces many obstacles and realizes he is the pawn in a strategic war of attrition.
Facing a master in his craft and the elite of all snipers, Isaac knows he will soon meet his fate. All emotion is experienced and the fight for survival is more real than ever. Only hearing the voice of his enemy, it keeps the surreal understanding of sniper tactics and the covert operations they execute beyond human limitations in perspective. Doing the unthinkable to kill their enemy, this Iraqi warrior leaves no leaf unturned and uses every tactic spoken and unspoken to lure in one more tic on his running KIA hit list.
When time is of the essence the film lingers on the edge of heroic team effort to see ultimate victory clinched as Isaac’s will to survive surmounts all possible outcomes… With victory in sight, the reminder of war and the extent of pain and suffering that it brings will certainly be evident as walls are torn down and enemies collide.
Rating: R13 Violence, cruelty & offensive language.