IN SHORT - OUTSIDE THE WIRE
Director: Mikael Håfström
Starring - Anthony Mackie, Damson Idris, Emily Beecham, Michael Kelly, and Pilou Asbæk
SYNOPSIS - 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.
Another Netflix sci-fi film that meanders more than it should, but also provides a sufficient amount of action filled entertainment during its 1hr 55 min runtime.
Anthony Mackie has been extremely busy over the last couple of years, bouncing between both television and film projects. He's an actor with great range but is also incredibly adept at fight choreography. Here he does a good job here of convincing you he’s the ultimate soldier without having to justify his character’s existence.
Damson Idris is fine as the emotionally detached drone pilot and holds his own (whilst being insubordinate) against Mackie's hard-nosed Captain Leo, questioning his motives at every turn. Idris does well enough to convey the right emotions as his character wrestles with this horrible situation he's been thrown into. However, as the movie progresses, there is a revelation that changes everything. The reveal opens Harp's eyes to the world around him, leading him to regret his past actions. It motivates Harp to atone but I wasn't entirely sold on his change of perspective. Despite this, the chemistry between the leads works and is consistent throughout the film. Michael Kelly and Emily Beecham offer additional support and do well in their respective roles. Pilou Asbæk (wasted here) unfortunately, hopelessly cameos as some throwaway cartoon villain and does little else.
Mikael Håfström’s direction is a little claustrophobic but works well with Michael Bonvillain’s cinematography, capturing some haunting environments and giving some scenes a level of atmospheric tension.
It's a film that infuriatingly relies heavily on exposition and should have been given a 90 min runtime at best. Netflix has a series of films slated for this year and unfortunately, Outside The Wire shows a lot of promise in its first act but lacks the punch required to leave an impression on you after the lukewarm conclusion.