The mind games between an American soldier hiding from an Iraqi sniper
"The Wall" (2017 release; 93 min.) brings the story of Isaac. As the movie opens, we are reminded that "It's late 2007, and the Iraqi was is winding down". We then meet two servicemen who are out somewhere in the desert looking for an Iraqi sniper who has killed US contractors. After 22 hrs.,, Matthews decides to go in, but when he does he is shot. In the ensuing chaos, Isaac also gets shot, and in desperation throws himself behind a wobbly wall to hide out. It's not too long before Isaac is in radio contact with the Iraqi sniper (pretending to be an ally). At this point we're not even 15 min. into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Couple of comments: this is the latest movie from director Doug Liman, best known for action movies like his previous film "Edge of Tomorrow". Here, he goes a very different direction. It is in essence a (mostly one-man) theater play set in the desert and in three scenes: the opening 10 min., the middle 60 min, and the concluding 20 min. The meat of the film is the 60 min. (playing out in real time) in which Isaac and the Iraqi sniper are playing mind games with each other (but we only see Isaac). The performance from Aaron Taylor-Johnson is amazing (for one thing, he is out of breath the entire movie--due to heat exhaustion and from being shot). He carries the movie on his shoulders, both figuratively and literally. Along the way we also understand how it is that Isaac and Matthews ended up there, with no apparent backup or rescue plans. The movie does not contain any music (but for one instrumental playing over the end credits). Please note that the movie is shown here on Amazon and also other sources (such as IMDb) as having a running time of 81 min. This is simply not correct: the version I saw in the theater ran a few minutes over an hour and a half.
"The Wall" opened in theaters this weekend, and I couldn't wait to see it. The Saturday early evening screening where I saw this at here in Cincinnati was attend okay but still on the low side (considering it's the movie's opening weekend). Given the nature of the movie (a theater play in the desert) and its subject matter (the war in Iraq), I can't imagine this will play very long in theaters, so if this is something that might appeal to you, there's a good chance that you'll end up checking it out on Amazon Instant Video or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray.
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