Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s performance isn’t strong enough to save Doug Liman’s dull, stripped-back war film
This stripped-back three-hander from Doug Liman, director of the Bourne trilogy and Edge of Tomorrow, is set in Iraq in 2007. Aaron Taylor-Johnson plays a shrill American soldier, badly wounded and trapped behind a crumbling low wall as his partner (John Cena) lays unconscious at the mercy of an enemy sniper. It’s an interesting premise, with moments of tension and visceral gore, but Taylor-Johnson’s performance isn’t strong enough to rescue the film from lengthy stretches of banality. A dusty, beige palette offers no respite from the dullness and the film’s central question – “The war is over. You’re still here. Why?” – is only asked in its last reel.