By: Amanda Guarragi
Outside the Wire is the first action film from Netflix this year and it has such a great concept. The film has a nice balance exploring robotics and how the mechanics can fit in with humanity. The story is about a drone pilot being sent into a warzone, where he finds himself paired up with a top-secret agent, who turns out to be an android. In typical sci-fi war film fashion, they must stop a nuclear attack. The big draw is the android being able to regenerate its skin to appear human. The concept may sound far-fetched but realistically we do have the resources to create androids and other robotics for the sustainability of the human species.
The moment the film begins you are transported into the warzone, the opening credits resemble a first person shooter game like Call of Duty, which set the tone for the film. The first 20 minutes are filled with action and it shows the state of the world in the near future with grey areas regarding soldiers and robots combined. We are introduced to Lieutenant Thomas Harp (Damson Idris) who causes some serious damage as a drone pilot and is sent to a different sector. There he meets the Captain, named Leo (Anthony Mackie) who is an android military officer. Together they must stop a Russian extremist group from a nuclear attack.
What I enjoyed the most was watching Anthony Mackie own the screen. I can’t help but wonder when or if we are going to see him lead a Captain America film of his own one day but he proved in Outside the Wire that he truly deserves it. There are moments, specific lines like “I could do this all day” that really hit me when watching this film. Mackie is a star and people need to start recognizing that. He has proven himself time and time again. He deserves more leading roles that highlight how talented he is.
In all honesty if it weren’t for Anthony Mackie’s on screen presence and his great chemistry with Damson Idris this film wouldn’t have been as fun or interesting. It is a very generic action film that has a messy script, even though the story is pretty straight-forward. The action sequences were choreographed fairly well but nothing really stood out until the final standoff. The film has its moments but it is ultimately a chore to sit through. The middle does drag a bit and the military jargon is thrown around making it hard to understand what’s happening.
If you enjoy your sci-fi war zone action flick then this is definitely one you will enjoy! Check out Outside the Wire on Netflix January 15th.