Julien Neaves, Editor
Netflix is dropping a slew of films in 2021 and one of the first is Sci Fi war drama Outside the Wire. The film, directed by Swedish filmmaker Jan Mikael Håfström, is set during a near future conflict where drone pilot Lt Harp (Damson Idris of the series Snowfall, Black Mirror) and top secret android officer Captain Leo (Anthony Mackie aka Falcon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe) head into a war zone to prevent a nuclear attack.
Mackie and Idris do a commendable job of carrying the film. Mackie is witty, imposing and surprisingly thoughtful as Leo, and I found his acting here much better than his turn in Altered Carbon season 2. Idris also does well as the cocky yet naive Harp. The movie has a lot of profanity, which is not surprising for these types of action movies, but it felt forced at times. There is even a point where Harp asks Leo why he swears so much. Heck, they drop more f-bombs in the first five minutes than actual bombs in the entire movie.
And speaking of bombs, the film delivers its good share of explosive action, especially from the superhuman Leo doing a John Wick impersonation, and the robot soldiers called “Gumps”. The action is a mix of stylized popcorn sequences and unsettling “war is hell” moments.
And it is the message of the consequences and casualties of war, and the difference between waging war remotely and seeing it face to face, that actually lifts this movie above par. The message is very well executed and will leave the viewer with some mental nuggets to chew on after the credits.
The film, however, loses its biggest in the final act as the plot gets seriously muddied and the tension and action go from pulse-pounding to medium burn. And the almost two-hour movie does feel about a half hour too long, and the conclusion is less than satisfying. With that said, Outside the Wire is still worth breaking out the popcorn for.
Julien’s Score: 6.5 out of 10
You can check out Sommer’s video review here:
Julien “Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”.
I can also be found posting on Instagram as redmanwriter and talking about TV and movie stuff on Facebook at Movieville.