Movie Review: The Wall

Thinking back on it one might have to admit that quite a few movies featuring snipers tend to deal with at least two or three different locations when it comes to filming, but somehow The Wall ends up making a single location work for its setting, as it takes up a relatively small part of the landscape in which this story plays out. There are a few elements in this movie that are pointed in a blunt and brutal fashion, and while not all of them might be how things are handled in the real world, the very idea that they might be based on real practices is kind of terrifying. At the end of the Iraq War, Shane Matthews, played by John Cena, and Allen Isaac, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, are sent to keep an eye on a pipeline that’s been run through the desert. After 22 hours spent watching the area for signs of activity, they see nothing, as a previous team had reached the site and been taken out by an enemy sniper. When Matthews attempts to scout out the site however he’s badly wounded by the enemy sniper, who is still in the area, as is Isaac when he comes to help his friend. 

The predictability of the scene before the shooting is something that might have turned some folks off since there was no other way to get the action rolling, but as Isaac takes cover behind the wall after his knee is shot and his canteen is ruptured, the sniper attempts to impersonate a higher-ranking officer to obtain vital information from Isaac. Eventually, he figures this out, as the sniper, who is thought to be the mysterious and much-praised Juba, a legendary sniper among the enemy forces, has tuned his radio to the same channel to lure more soldiers into his trap. This is the most disturbing element of the story without a doubt since the idea that snipers can and will turn one target into many is something that should leave chills down the spines of many soldiers that know too well how deadly a great sniper can be. 

As Isaac attempts to find a way to survive and possibly spot the sniper, Juba, he ends up trying to fix and operate the radio of a dead soldier that he risks his life to retrieve. When this proves to be less than hopeful he eventually finds that Matthews is alive, and is attempting to reach his rifle. The psychological aspect of this movie as Isaac is pinned down behind a crumbling wall is intense, especially when he has to watch Juba kill Matthews when the sniper is only a short distance from cover. Thinking about this happening in real life is terrifying, not only because the enemy sniper can’t be seen, and is in a location that’s largely unknown to Isaac or Matthews, but also because it shows that Juba is about as cold-blooded as can be, no matter how much his words to Isaac might be indicative of someone that’s fighting for the sanctity of his country. The talk of Americans not leaving the Middle East is an argument that a lot of people would gladly step into just for the sake of debate. 

Thinking that a movie could be filmed in this manner, in a single location and with the bare minimum of actors, is something that a lot of people might have trouble believing in since it doesn’t sound like something that might offer up the type of conflict that folks would be able to believe in. But throughout the movie, one can’t help but feel for Isaac as he’s doing his best to survive while also attempting to outsmart an individual that is one of the best to ever pick up a rifle. Several movies have managed to create the belief that snipers are without any doubt a deadly force and, in some cases, a small army unto themselves if they’re quick on their feet and capable of thinking on the fly. This appears to be the case if anyone has ever seen one of the many videos of real-life individuals reacting to the movies. While much of what’s seen in the movies is a little too over the top to be real, some of what’s seen in the movies tend to be a little too close to home, and The wall is one of those movies that forces people to ask a lot of questions regarding what could happen, what has happened, and how much of it can be believed. 

While some folks didn’t think the movie was worth the attention, others might have a dissenting view since the acting is fairly solid and the story is one that keeps one watching so that they don’t miss anything. But the ending is a bit of a twist since if one thinks of how a sniper can set a trap 

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