For many, The Wall may have seemingly come out of nowhere. The movie concerns two soldiers pinned down by a sniper and sets up some solid tension. It is directed by Doug Liman, who seems busier than ever after leaving behind the Channing Tatum-starring Gambit movie, completing the Tom Cruise-starring American Made, and signing on for an Edge of Tomorrow sequel, a Justice League Dark movie and a Jumper TV series. Still, Liman was apparently able to put together this little thriller.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson and John Cena star as the two soldiers in question. Both take a hit and get into a harrowing game of wits, as they use very little cover as a means to buy time in locating the threat sitting out in the distance. Amazon Studios and Roadside Attractions released a trailer today, as can be seen above, which set the stakes pretty clearly and also emphasizes the sense of simplicity that can be found in this story.
Here’s the official discription for the film:
“The Wall” is a deadly psychological thriller that follows two soldiers pinned down by an Iraqi sniper, with nothing but a crumbling wall between them. Their fight becomes as much a battle of will and wits as it is of lethally accurate marksmanship. Directed by Doug Liman (“Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” “The Bourne Ultimatum,” “Edge of Tomorrow”), “The Wall” stars Aaron Taylor Johnson (“Nocturnal Animals,” “Kick-Ass,” “Savages” “Godzilla,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron”) and WWE star John Cena (“Trainwreck,” “Sisters,” “Daddy’s Home”), and is written by first-time screenwriter Dwain Worrell from his Black List script. “The Wall” is produced by Amazon Studios.
As noted in the description, the script by Dwain Worrell was on the Black List (a list of the most liked unproduced screenplays). It’s the first original spec script to be purchased by Amazon Studios and it also happens to be Worrell’s first screenplay. It is one of Liman’s smaller productions, calling to mind Swingers, Go or even 2010’s Fair Game, but also appears to have plenty of ambition as far as building a lot out of a simple story.
As an exercise in dramatic tension, The Wall looks quite good. Taylor-Johnson has proven himself to be a solid actor who can handle a variety of roles, but the more interesting element is Cena. While Cena has attemped to prove his value as an movie star in both action flicks like the underrated 12 Rounds and comedic efforts such as Trainwreck, this role looks to be giving him the chance to rely on more than just his physical stature. It may not be going too far to seeing the actor playing a soldier, but the story seems to have a better concept for what to do with the characters involved than the average action flick.
It will also be interesting to see what Liman brings to this project. While Edge of Tomorrow was a terrific sci-fi action film, it may benefit the director to have less means to work with. Given the high budgets he will be contending with with future projects, this may be a good way to go somewhat back to his roots as a more independent filmmaker.
The Wall arrives in theaters March 10, 2017.