One of the often forgotten elements in the portrayal of war in film is the tactical cat and mouse game that ensures between enemies, The Wall however leans into this aspect heavily.
Set in 2007 shortly after the war in Iraq is officially declared over, The Wall introduces us to Army Sniper Staff Sergeant Shane Matthews (John Cena) and his spotter Sergeant Allen “Eyes” Isaac (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). The tandem are investigating a distress call from a gas pipeline construction site when they are suddenly picked off by a sniper and pinned down behind the titular wall.
Whilst the enemy pinning Isaac down is never seen his voice is heard throughout the film via radio. As both the audience and Isaac come to learn the voice may be of the infamous Iraqi sniper Juba, who is rumoured to have killed 37 American soldiers.
Now pinned down by Juba behind the flimsy wall Isaac must keep Juba talking over the radio in the hopes of hearing clues that might betray Juba’s location and thus turn the situation in his favour.
The Wall is a simplistic, tense and deliberate film that fans of the genre will enjoy but others may find a touch preachy and long winded.