Outside the Wire (2021) Review

A Military Action/Sci Fi that I sure is trying to be clever and relevant, but it just too average to really achieve those goals.

Certificate: 15

Director: Mikael Håfström

Screenwriter: Rowan Athale, Rob Yescombe

Starring: Anthony Mackie, Damson Idris, Enzo Cilenti

Genre: Action, Adventure

Runtime: 114 Minutes

Language: English

Rating: 2.5 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

When disgraced drone pilot, Lt. Harp (Damson Idris) is sent into a deadly militarized zone after disobeying orders, he finds himself working for Capt. Leo (Anthony Mackie), an android officer tasked with locating a doomsday device before insurgents do. Written by Netflix

Lets get one thing abundantly clear, there is nothing in this film that you do not see coming a mile away nearly immediately.  From the time Harp and Leo are introduced, you can see how the whole thing is going to play out.  I was hoping the entire time that they were going to kind of do a double bluff and pull something out of the bag in the third act to upset my expectations.  Sadly it didn’t do that.  Meaning this is a generic enhanced soldier with a axe to grind against humanity.  Nothing new year.

Some of the action sequences were good.  Very stylistic and unrealistic, but well shot and well choreographed, which is what you need in an action movie really.  But really that is all that the film excels at.  I am sure that is meant to have some kind of anti-war message and with it is trying to be clever and relevant. But the film is altogether too average for it too have any real impact, so those messages are going to fall a bit flat.

The dialogue was a bit clunky and a bit info-dumpy in places.  I liked the banter early on between Leo and Harp, but for reasons I obviously can’t discuss for spoiler reasons, this dies off after a while and it returns to being a bit by the numbers.  Mackie we know can carry off the smart ass action hero, and he does it so well that in the beginning of the movie I almost bought it.  Both main actors do the best they can with the material they have, but some of those lines are so bad, that no one could deliver them effectively.

I did like that nearly every character in this film had their own agenda.  Everyone, literally EVERYBODY, was very morally grey.  Meaning you didn’t and couldn’t trust any off them as you didn’t know who was truly in the right and who was out to further their own means.  I guess it becomes obviously fairly early on who the good guys and bad guys are, but the moral ambiguity does keep you guessing for a while.

Another below par action movie from Netflix.  I think it might be time for them to start thinking about the quality of their films, rather than the quantity.

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