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Combat - Iraq

The Wall (2017)

Duration1h 28m
RatingsUK: 15, USA: R, Denmark: 15 
Source of storyAn original screenplay
DirectorDoug Liman
Writers/ScriptDwain Worrell
StarringAaron Taylor-Johnson, John Cena, Laith Nakli
RatingsIMDb: 6.2 by 26,313 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 65% by 125 reviewers. Review2view: 7.8/10. 

Elevator Pitch: It is Iraq after the allied victory, but there are still enemy units out there and, consequently, American soldiers.  Sniper Sergeant Shane Matthews and his spotter Sergeant Allen Isaac are watching a construction site where there have been casualties. There are bodies on the sand and empty vehicles about. After many hours Matthews leaves his concealment and walks onto the site, to be cut down almost immediately by a sniper’s bullet. Isaac runs out to rescue him but is shot in the knee. He crawls behind a wall for cover. His radio is stuffed and his water bottle empty and alarmingly the Iraqi sniper contacts him and forces him to converse, or else the seriously wounded Matthews, out there in the open, will be killed.

Content: We see the soldiers hidden in their cover overseeing the site which features a variety of vehicles and machines and has a pipeline running across it. There are also bodies lying about. We see the site through the sniper scope on Matthews rifle and the spotters telescope, and after a while also a view of their situation through the sniper scope of the Iraqi, who talks at times like an American and explain his fluency by saying he used to be an English teacher in Baghdad. It is obvious that their situation is hopeless so there is constant tension.

A View: This is a small scale outing with, in filmic terms, a tiny budget. It does not quite sustain the tension but nevertheless Taylor-Johnson does a really good job as virtually the only actor on screen for an hour and a half. I have seen so much absolute tosh that it was a relief to watch something well crafted which carries you along with it. So well worth a view.

Films about the Iraqi war are few and far between but here are a few others. Green Zone, American Sniper, Jarhead .

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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