Review: Anthony Mackie plays a straight-faced super-soldier in ‘Outside The Wire’

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What begins as a straightforward war film slowly unravels into confusing mayhem.

The Netflix film prioritizes action over all else in their latest sci-fi flick

For most action movie enthusiasts, seeing “Captain America” supporting actor Anthony Mackie headlining an equally explosion-packed film on Netflix would have been enough to rope them in. However, the streaming service’s latest effort tries to become much more than what it is.

“Outside The Wire” focuses on US drone pilot Harp, played by “Snowfall’s” Damson Idris, as he goes against a direct order from his supervisors and is sent overseas to battle on the ground. Here, Harp meets Leo (Mackie) who happens to be an android with his agenda outside of the battle.

As the two are forced to work together, the film begins to resemble a futuristic “Training Day” with Mackie following Denzel Washington’s character very closely. While the film is advertised as an action flick that sells itself on explosions for popcorn entertainment, it quickly attempts to become much more.

The film’s stiff script takes on the ethical and moral standpoints of AI and general warfare, as well as a nonchalant attempt at addressing racism in the year 2036 (the period in which the film is set). On top of these rotating thematic elements, the film also tries to fit their “civil war” period in the backstory and address how androids came to be used in warfare in the future.

While the film’s script had fallen short on too many goals from the beginning, one standout aspect is the performances of lead actors Mackie and Idris. Impressively, they’re able to work with what they’re given to still deliver a 2-hour entertaining, action-packed break from the real-world.

The film’s concepts held their ground on paper, and the film had the star power and original ideas to become a hit blockbuster that Netflix could advertise for months to come.

However, the film appears to have been stretched too thin to where each plot point is simply addressed and then moved on from. It isn’t until the very end of the film that the core themes come forward, which happens to be too late for viewers to give any interest.

“Outside The Wire” has little more to offer than other recent action flicks including “Extraction” or the Ryan Reynolds-starring “6 Underground”, yet it’s still a worthy addition to pass the time. With many more action-packed projects from Netflix coming later this year, subscribers can hope to find better entertainment the next time around.

Review: 2.5/5

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