Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
Want more? Listen to our discussion of 'The Wall' on SWITCHCast
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
It's SWITCH's 8th anniversary! Click here now to join the celebrations and win huge prizes!x
review, The Wall, The, Wall, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, John Cena, Laith Nakli, Spencer Thomas, Doug Liman, Drama, Thriller, War film rating

THE WALL

★★

GRIPPING BUT THIN

SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Jake Watt
14th June 2017

Set in 2007, U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Shane Matthews (John Cena, ‘The Marine’, ‘Trainwreck’) is a sniper, who is sent to investigate a pipeline construction site in the desert of Iraq, with his spotter, Sergeant Allen Isaac (Aaron Taylor Johnson, ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’, ‘Kick-Ass’ series). After watching for signs of an enemy sniper for nearly a day, the two assume he has left the area. Unfortunately they are wrong, and the sniper (known as Juba) not only still has his sights on them, but pins an injured Isaac down behind a crumbling wall.

A return to low-budget roots for blockbuster director Doug Liman (‘The Bourne Identity’, ‘Edge of Tomorrow’), ‘The Wall’ is the first spec script (it was featured on the 2014 Black List) ever to be purchased by Amazon Studios. The screenplay was written by Dwain Worrell, an American writer who was living in China at the time.

'THE WALL' TRAILER

The meat of the film, playing out in real time, revolves around Isaac and the unseen Iraqi sniper engaging in mind games with each other. Aaron Taylor-Johnson turns in a solid performance as the young soldier suffering from heat exhaustion and a gunshot wound.

Through its use of a static location, no music, minimal characters and extensive dialogue, ‘The Wall’ feels like a one-man play brought to film. If you’re looking for something action-packed like ‘Sniper’, ‘Enemy at the Gates’, ‘American Sniper’ or ‘Shooter’, keep searching. This film shares more similarities with Rodrigo Cortés’ Ryan-Reynolds-in-a-coffin-with-a-lighter-in-Iraq film ‘Buried’ (2010) and Joel Schumacher’s psychological thriller ‘Phone Booth’ (2002), which featured Colin Farrell as another luckless bro trapped in an enclosed location by a chatty invisible gunman.

Through its use of a static location, no music, minimal characters and extensive dialogue, ‘The Wall’ feels like a one-man play brought to film.

Worrell drew from his background as a playwright to flesh out the second act of the screenplay, which focuses on Isaac's conversation with Juba. In an interview with Creative Screenwriting, Worrell said, "What interested me about it was the simple conversation between two people. That could almost be had on a New York City park bench with two guys playing chess. There is that sort of dynamic between the characters in the film."

Unfortunately, like ‘Phone Booth’, there is an almost total absence of tension in the second half, as Worrell, for the most part, emphasises the ideological conversations that ensue between Isaac and Juba... but the majority of the stuff coming out of their mouths is merely so-so and not particularly engrossing. Although things eventually pick up in the comparatively action-packed climax, the film is hurt by its inability to create characters the audience particularly cares about.

Ultimately, ‘The Wall’ is gripping, but there isn’t quite enough meat on its bones to cover its feature-length running time.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: 10/08/2017
RUN TIME: 1h 30m
CAST: Aaron Taylor-Johnson
John Cena
Laith Nakli
Spencer Thomas
DIRECTOR: Doug Liman
WRITER: Dwain Worrell
PRODUCERS: David Bartis
Carrie Prince
www.thewallthemovie.com
thewallthemovie
thewallmovie
thewallmovie
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Looking for more Sydney Film Festival reviews? Click here to check out our collection of this year's highlights.
SWITCH's 8th Anniversary - Come celebrate with us and take home a huge prize pack!
TRENDINGWIN SWITCH'S 8TH ANNIVERSARYCome celebrate with us and take home a huge prize pack!
12 Monkeys: Seasons One & Two - Slick sci-fi drama offers humanity's last hope
TRENDINGWIN 12 MONKEYS: SEASONS ONE & TWOSlick sci-fi drama offers humanity's last hope
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - Your chance to take home The Complete Seasons 1 - 4
TRENDINGWIN UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDTYour chance to take home The Complete Seasons 1 - 4
E Street: Collection One - A trip down memory lane with this classic Aussie TV drama
TRENDINGWIN E STREET: COLLECTION ONEA trip down memory lane with this classic Aussie TV drama
Mr Holland's Opus - Music to your ears
TRENDINGWIN MR HOLLAND'S OPUSMusic to your ears
Inseparable Bros - A heartwarming tale about disability and the power of friendship
TRENDINGINSEPARABLE BROSA heartwarming tale about disability and the power of friendship
Ask Dr Ruth - A documentary on 90th birthday parties, Nazi Germany and sex
TRENDINGASK DR RUTHA documentary on 90th birthday parties, Nazi Germany and sex
Standing Up For Sunny - A comedy without the comedy but very sweet
TRENDINGSTANDING UP FOR SUNNYA comedy without the comedy but very sweet
Knives Out - A whodunnit worthy of Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot
TRENDINGKNIVES OUTA whodunnit worthy of Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot
Frozen 2 - Elsa and Anna return with the magic (mostly) intact
TRENDINGFROZEN 2Elsa and Anna return with the magic (mostly) intact
Zoo - Toothless and shambling
TRENDINGZOOToothless and shambling
The Truth - A well-intentioned trip down a well-worn path
TRENDINGTHE TRUTHA well-intentioned trip down a well-worn path
God of the Piano - A tale that tickles the ivories
TRENDINGGOD OF THE PIANOA tale that tickles the ivories
Happy Ending - An extra-wrinkly sex comedy
TRENDINGHAPPY ENDINGAn extra-wrinkly sex comedy
Children of the Sea - Sunk by a soggy script
TRENDINGCHILDREN OF THE SEASunk by a soggy script
Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan - Close to home
TRENDINGDANGER CLOSE: THE BATTLE OF LONG TANClose to home
School of Seduction - Husband hunting in Russia
TRENDINGSCHOOL OF SEDUCTIONHusband hunting in Russia
In Fabric - The best worst film ever?
TRENDINGIN FABRICThe best worst film ever?
Love, Antosha - A star taken too soon
TRENDINGLOVE, ANTOSHAA star taken too soon
The Addams Family - They're altogether boring, the Addams Family
TRENDINGTHE ADDAMS FAMILYThey're altogether boring, the Addams Family
© 2011 - 2019 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us