Friday 15 January 2021

Outside the Wire (Movie Review)

As the new year slowly kicks into gear, Netflix continues to strengthen its commitment to provide quality at-home entertainment during these unprecedented times we still find ourselves in. And that commitment was made public after the company had announced that it would be releasing more than 70 movies over the course of this year. Outside the Wire is just one of those 70 films, a science fiction war movie starring Anthony Mackie.

Set in the near future in the middle of a Soviet civil war, the movie follows Lt. Thomas Harp (Damson Idris), a US drone pilot that is sent into the field after he'd initiated an unauthorized drone strike that resulted in the deaths of two fellow soldiers. Expected to find a renewed value for life after his exposure to on-the-ground warfare, Thomas is assigned to a commanding officer named Leo (Anthony Mackie), a man he quickly finds out is not a man at all.

Leo is an android designed by the US Army to help with the ongoing efforts to win back the war-torn region of Ukraine. Unlike the other robots being used in the war, he is distinctly human in appearance, and has an uncanny ability to feel human emotions. It is that ability that drives his mission, and together with Thomas, they must go behind enemy lines as they attempt to track down a local warlord before he gets his hands on enough nuclear missiles to start World War III.

The best thing about Outside the Wire was easily Anthony Mackie, who is no stranger to Netflix productions of this kind, having starred in the lead role of the second season of the now-cancelled sci-fi show, Altered Carbon. Here he brings most of the charisma and charm he'd displayed in that show, as well as the physicality required for such an action heavy role. But he also never failed to display the level of emotion needed to keep the action grounded in reality.

And that's another area where the movie excels, in its action scenes. There was no shortage of hand-to-hand combat and gunfights to be had, some of which involved robots and future tech, all of which looked convincing enough. So action junkies will definitely want to check out the movie for that reason alone, even though I fear that more casual audiences might become a bit desensitized towards all the fancy explosions after a while.

And speaking of becoming desensitized, the one area where I felt the movie could've used some improvement was its story, or more precisely its resolution. We've had countless movies about future wars at this point, and I was really hoping that this one would at least bring something new to the table. But what we got instead was a barely serviceable story with a final act that was a bit too twisty for my tastes.

Regardless of this, I still think Outside the Wire can serve as a mild diversion for anyone looking for something to check out on Netflix. It might be nowhere as brilliant as the likes of Edge of Tomorrow, but should still offer enough entertainment value for anyone that happens to enjoy such movies.


  1. I'll keep my expectations low. NetFlix is really delivering some good movies though. Enola Holmes was one of the best last year.

    1. Yeah. Enola Holmes was great. Really hope they decide to do a sequel soon.

  2. I enjoyed your review. It's not the sort of thing that I would typically watch but your review makes me want to give it a chance. Best wishes for a wonderful day.

    1. Thanks, Liberty Belle. You should definitely check it out if you get the chance. Best wishes to you too.