"The Wall"

Having just seen Doug Liman's latest film, "The Wall" starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson an John Cena, I couldn't help, but start thinking about Liman's track record and how great his hits to misses ratio has been so far in his 18 year career. No small feat, especially given the current climate of  today's blockbuster-crazed Hollywood standards. His filmography is impressive (Swingers, Go, The Bourne Identity, Mr and Mrs. Smith,  Edge of Tomorrow, Fair Game and, now, The Wall). Yes, those are not artful films, but they are solid entertainments. 

"The Wall" has two American Soldiers trapped by a lethal sniper, one of them (Aaaron Taylor-Johnson) has an unsteady wall as a shield, whereas the other soldier (Played by John Cena) is stuck, shot and bleeding to death, in the middle of the crossfire. The Iraqi sniper decides to not shoot the latter soldier, he has an end game planned, which Taylor-Johnson's solider tries to solve throughout the film's 81 minute running time. 

Liman's film is minimalist, claustrophobic and highly visceral, in the same tradition as one-location thrillers like "127 Hours," "Buried," "Phone Booth," "Locke," "Cube," "Tape," "All Is Lost," "Cube," and "Saw." This genre of film, with minimal sets, minimal props, and minimal effects are known as Bottle Movies. It takes a highly talented director to pull this "stunt" off. The film can't feel repetitive. An assortment of well-prepared, elaborately conceived storyboarded shots is a must. 

There's is nothing overtly spectacular, or flashily stylized about "The Wall." But, just like Liman's strongest films, it entertains. It's almost as if Liman has been Hollywood's secret weapon for almost 20 years. He's reliable, efficient and incredibly well-seasoned in his filmmaking approach - He is also an above average filmmaker in regards to shooting action and decently fleshing out character as well, I can't wait to see what he does next [B-]