A lot of actors who starred in MCU films have gotten work from their presence in those films, Anthony Mackie chief among them. Turns in Altered Carbon and The Banker in recent years have helped boost his career since the MCU roles. Netflix has been the landing spot for a few films starring MCU actors. Outside the Wire is the latest film starring an MCU actor to hit Netflix.
Damson Idris plays a drone pilot in the futuristic United States. He makes a bad call on a drone strike that kills two of his own country’s soldiers. Instead of being kicked out of the service, he is punished and sent to train with a captain (Anthony Mackie) that has different methods of how to do military work. It turns out he’s a prototype military officer, who is almost like a perfect weapon. This throws the ex-drone pilot for a loop. He wasn’t expecting this to be his assignment after almost being thrown out of the military.
Idris is a newer actor. It makes sense that he was teamed with Mackie in this futuristic war movie. They are a good team. The problem is this story rarely works, if at all. It is just too complicated and convoluted. The overview is a Cold War country that wants to get launch codes to start World War III. Does this sound familiar? Because it’s a plot we’ve seen before in a James Bond film. It’s such an overdone plot retooled into this film. Sure the wrapping paper looks a little different, but it’s the same present you’ve gotten before.
Warring factions are at odds with the main characters in the middle. This leads to some decent action and military scenes. Special effects mix computer screens with live-action scenes on the ground. They are seamlessly melded together. These scenes rescue this film. The acting is also okay. Some character actors we’ve seen before like Michael Kelly and Pillou Asbæk are solid in this film.
Mikael Håfström is primarily known for his horror films like 1408 and The Right, but he’s directed action films like Escape Plan as well. Outside the Wire is a mix of both. The military scenes have some graphic scenes like that of a horror film but have some great action as well. The plot and story are what fail this film in the end. Like a lot of Bond films, it’s just too far-fetched. Netflix has greenlit some questionable films in recent years and this is another one of them.
Despite the solid action and acting, the story fails Outside the Wire in the end. Sure there have been far-fetched movie plots in the past, but they are believable and the actors make it worth seeing those films. This film isn’t those by a far-reaching margin. It’s cool that Mackie is going out on his own away from the MCU, but he needs to pick a better project than this to work on in the future.
2 1/2 stars
Dan Skip Allen
Sean Boelman Founder/Head Film Critic