Film of the Day (11/15/18): The Wall

 

Written By Dwain Worrell
Directed By Doug Liman

War movies can come in many different forms, from sweeping epics to confined, taut stories like this one. Using a single location and three actors (only two of which are ever seen), this movie makes good use of a very minimalist approach and at 90 minutes it never overstays its welcome. The tension is palpable, and it doesn’t take long for you to feel like you are in the desert with them, locked into their sniper game of cat and mouse, breathing slowly to avoid sucking sand. Aaron Taylor-Johnson does a damn good job carrying the film on his back, having been given a good arc in Worrell’s script and displaying good range as the layers peel back. Liman was a good choice to direct, building tension impressively in the opening minutes and maintaining a good pace throughout and maximizing the movie’s limitations. John Cena is well cast and does a solid job as a gruff soldier with too much confidence for his own good. I wasn’t entirely sure what to make of the ending, other than the fact that it felt like Worrell was trying to convince us of the pointlessness of the Iraq war, which I don’t think anyone would argue. Overall, this is a solid watch with an impressive performance lifting it higher.

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