OUTSIDE THE WIRE is a new Netflix sci-fi action movie that starts out really strong with an important point. Also, Anthony Mackie and Damson Idris are really strong in the lead. Sadly, the final few minutes almost manage to ruin it. Read our full Outside the Wire movie review here!

OUTSIDE THE WIRE is a new Netflix sci-fi action movie starring Anthony Mackie and Damson Idris. Both are very capable of carrying a movie and work really well together on screen.

In addition to soldier droids and other exciting sci-fi elements, the story actually has a point. It deals with the fact that the US (and allies) often start wars in other countries ending in many lives lost. The plot of this Netflix movie tries to navigate the fact that nothing is simple when it comes to war.

Read our full Outside the Wire movie review here!

Strong performances by Anthony Mackie and Damson Idris

Damson Idris has already been starring in stories for years. He’s the lead character in the FX (and FX on Hulu) series Snowfall which began back in 2017. Also, he starred in an episode of Black Mirror and an episode of The Twilight Zone reboot. Both episodes aired in 2019.

Anthony Mackie is probably most widely known for being Sam Wilson aka Falcon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Soon, we’ll also get to see him on Disney+ in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier series. However, Anthony Mackie has a lot more on his IMDb resume than “just” Marvel. Most recently, he also starred in season 2 of the Netflix series Altered Carbon.

In terms of movies, he was in the Academy Award-winning movies Million Dollar Baby (2004) and The Hurt Locker (2008) but his debut feature film was actually 8 Mile (2002). He’s pretty much shown that he can be in anything and deliver a solid performance. Also, he starred in an episode of Black Mirror in the same season as Damson Idris.

Outside the Wire – Netflix Review

The ending of Outside the Wire on Netflix

The ending of Outside the Wire was not what I expected. Maybe from a big blockbuster film meant to draw in movie theater audiences. Not from a Netflix movie where the writer and director are usually (or at least used to be) given a lot of creative and artistic freedom.

Unfortunately, the final few minutes of Outside the Wire almost managed to ruin the entire thing for me. The vibe goes from being ballsy and interesting to just rehashing the same old. In fact, I literally found myself with a very confused and irritating look on my face.

And this was after having enjoyed the movie quite a lot for more than an hour and a half. The runtime is 1 hour and 54 minutes.

However strong the performances are by Anthony Mackie and Damson Idris, the character arc for Damson Idris is abysmal. For Anthony Mackie, this is a solid performance all the way through, but the writing of Damson Idris’ character during those final minutes was completely out of whack for me.

Watch Outside the Wire on Netflix!

Swedish director Mikael Håfström directed Outside the Wire and does a really good job. The pace is tight and the visual style is really on-point for this kind of sci-fi action story. Mikael Håfström previously directed the Stephen King adaption 1408 (2007) and the horror-mystery The Rite (2011). In terms of action movies, he also directed the Schwarzenegger-Stallone movie Escape Plan.

As mentioned several times in this review (and especially in the previous segment), I was not a fan of the ending. In fact, I kept expecting it all to be a ruse. That surely it would correct back to having this solid point – as told by Anthony Mackie’s character during the movie.

But no, the point of this movie was ultimately a very different one and I just cannot believe that this final result was what the director (or even the screenwriters) intended. Whether other viewers will be as surprised or irritated by this as we were when watching it, I don’t know. But I definitely think a large chunk of the audience will be!

Outside the Wire is out on Netflix from January 15, 2021.

Details

Director: Mikael Håfström
Screenplay: Rob Yescombe and Rowan Athale
Stars: Anthony Mackie, Damson Idris, Enzo Cilenti, Emily Beecham, Michael Kelly, Pilou Asbæk

Plot

In 2036, America serves as a peacekeeping force and human troops on both sides are supported by robot combatants called Gumps and drone pilots monitoring skirmishes from thousands of miles away.

But after headstrong drone pilot Lieutenant Harp (Damson Idris) disobeys a direct order to intervene in a conflict, the Army deploys him to a military outpost to confront the human costs of his button-pushing. Harp’s expectations of guarding a fence are upended when his new commanding officer Captain Leo (Anthony Mackie) announces plans to infiltrate the demilitarized zone and apprehend Viktor Koval (Pilou Asbæk), a warlord who intends to launch a network of dormant nuclear weapons.

Soon, Harp learns that his theoretical experience as a drone pilot means little out on the battlefield under enemy attack — especially after discovering that Leo is an A.I.-enhanced supersoldier whose strength, speed and demand for results promise to turn his real-world education into a trial by fire.

Karina
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