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Film Review: 'The Wall' Shows How Soldiers Will Run Through Wall For Freedom

by Todd A. Smith


(Photo Credit: Roadside Atrractions)



Giving American Soldiers Their Just Due 


Despite all of the recognition and adoration American soldiers receive; often they still do not get their just due.

Sure, non-service members know that soldiers put their life and health on the line for the protection of others, but nothing like realistic movies or actual military footage brings that reality to everyday Americans.

“The Wall,” directed by Doug Liman takes place in 2007 towards the end of George W. Bush’s presidency and after major combat ends in Iraq.

Most American soldiers have long left the Middle Eastern desert, and the soldiers that remain are attempting to train Iraqi soldiers to take control of their country from violent terrorists and insurgents.

In “The Wall,” Isaac aka Eyes (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Shane Matthews (John Cena) are alone securing a desert Iraqi location, or so they think.

Matthews is the sharp shooter of the duo and Isaac is his eyes, surveying the empty desert just to make sure the Americans are alone in hostile terrain.

Many Americans lie dead in the Iraqi desert, but since Isaac and Matthews have been conducting surveillance of the desert there has been no sign of Iraqi insurgents or hajis as they call them.

Frustrated by the monotony of their mission, Matthews finally comes to the false realization that there are no Iraqi insurgents in the desert, and they can begin clearing the location of bodies and American weapons.

However, as soon as Matthews gets close to the bodies, he joins the wounded warriors lying dead in Iraq.

Although Isaac has no idea where the gunshots are coming from, he has to try to save Matthews in case he is still alive, and seek help from his American comrades securing his rescue.

However, when Isaac tries to get rescued from the predicament, he soon realizes that his situation is direr than he imagined.

Isaac soon finds out that not even a wall can protect him from angry Iraqi insurgents.

He also finds out that it is difficult to discern Iraqi friend from Iraqi foe.

“The Wall” is tremendous until the very end.

Cena is surprisingly brilliant as a serious actor and Taylor-Johnson does his thing in “The Wall” as well.

The two actors carry an entire flick by themselves, not needing much help from other actors to convey the sense of hopelessness, desperation and eventually determination that many Americans must feel when they are behind enemy lines.

To think of what goes through an American soldier’s mind when he or she is surrounded by death, and the chances of returning home safe and sound appear bleak and non-existent.

The ingenuity, tenacity and strength needed to overcome such seemingly insurmountable odds are what make soldiers heroes.

Fortunately in “The Wall,” Cena and Taylor-Johnson are able to accurately portray the aforementioned characteristics with only a little help from the voice of Laith Nakil, who portrays the antagonist Juba.

Unfortunately for “The Wall,” the ending hits a wall and concludes too abruptly to get a full picture of what happened to Isaac, Matthews and others.


Regardless, “The Wall” is another film to add to the movie canon, which gives true American soldiers their day in the much-deserved spotlight.






This article was published on Friday 12 May, 2017.
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