Cert 15 88mins Stars 3
There’s no joining of hands across the barricades in this tense Iraq war action thriller.
This short sharp kick of a film condenses the entire conflict to a single battle between three men, with only a dry stone wall between them.
A pair of US soldiers are bricking it when ambushed by an insurgent Iraqi sniper. Imagine Colin Farrell’s 2002 hostage movie Phone Booth, but in the desert and with geo-political religious overtones. We never see the assassin, and he communicates with his victims via a radio mic.
Brit star of Kick Ass Aaron Taylor-Johnson, cements the film with a committed physical performance. As Sergeant Isaac, he is full of defiance, determination, panic and fear.
Alongside him is John Cena as Sergeant Shane Matthews. Cena is one of the growing number of WWE wrestlers such as Dwayne Johnson adding ‘Hollywood actor’ to their CV’s. Though Cena’s fans may be disappointed by the amount of screen time he’s allowed compared to his co-star.
The pair are pinned down by an unseen assailant with a high powered rifle. They have no water, and military bureaucracy and faulty equipment are making their mission more difficult. Every bullet hurts and bloodshed comes at a cost.
Laith Nakli haunts the desert as Juba, an infamous sniper also known as the angel of death.
Everything is constructed on the foundation of a decent debut script by Dwain Worrell. The soldiers have our sympathy but you don’t have to look far to find criticisms of the execution of the war itself.
The elusive Iraqi is US trained and armed and represents the dangers the US created for themselves when invading the region. The wall was part of a school destroyed by the US occupying force and an unfinished oil pipe litters the landscape.
I don’t need to build up The Wall, you can go see it for yourself.