As Marvel’s, “Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2” continues to dominate at the box office, there aren’t many movies willing to go up against the juggernaut. One movie that gives you an alternative and original idea that may hinder you seeing Guardians Vol. 2 for a second or third time, is Doug Liman’s “The Wall.” Many things run through your mind when you see the trailer for “The Wall”, from excitement, to intrigue to a realism that can’t be found by any other movie currently at the box office.
One of the big selling points of the movie is the director himself, Doug Liman, who has garnered some fame from “The Bourne Identity” and the more recent film, “Edge of Tomorrow.” With both of these films receiving critical acclaim, it is no secret Liman is able to pull off an exciting and intense thrill ride of a film. The only question that was left to ask was, can Liman pull off another hit with Aaron Taylor Johnson and John Cena as the leads? Sitting in the theater, I had my doubts, but I was soon going to find out.
“The Wall” for the first two acts are both interesting and entertaining, with an unmatched and surprising chemistry between Johnson and Cena. The concept for Liman’s film explores two pinned down soldiers, as they are unable to locate a lone sniper. The film does a believable job of expressing the brotherly bond between two soldiers who have been in the line of duty for so long. Many war films fall victim when they try to force a bond between characters that just lack chemistry, but “The Wall” is not one of those films.
This was an impressive and very interesting role for John Cena, in this film, he is not some unstoppable force that spends the entire movie absorbing bullets, playing a larger than life persona as he has in many other films. When things happen to the characters in this film, both actors do a wonderful job of selling the pain and emotion that comes along with it. Aaron Taylor Johnson is given most of the screen time in this film, as he is the one who is in communication with our lone sniper. He does a great job carrying this film and really making you believe that he is this character. This however, was not a huge surprise for me when watching this film. Just a few months ago Aaron delivered a very creepy and unsettling performance in the film “Nocturnal Animals”. His performance in that film had put him on the map for me as talent that needs to be followed, and as I said he definitely brings his a game to this role.
Where the film falters for me, and hits a dead halt is at the very end. I don’t want to get into spoilers, but there are choices made by either the screenwriter or the filmmaker that completely ruin everything this movie had set up. This decision and execution made this movie go from a solid B to a D in my book. It discounts every bit of realism that the film had built up from the very beginning and brings it down to nothing more then a D rate action flick I would find on Netflix.
I can tell you that “The Wall” for the first two acts is thrilling and very well executed. The acting is solid as well as the directing and cinematography is very well done. The locations and use of color are at times something to truly marvel at, which is a huge credit for a film that mostly takes place in one area. But the ending as I said earlier really makes this film suffer and suffer hard. In my opinion I would recommend waiting for this one to come out on VOD or Netflix before checking it out.
Final Verdict - D