Outside the Wire
Outside the Wire – Netflix’s latest contribution to cinema – is a tense, action-packed foray set in the not-so-distant future where Eastern Europe is in the midst of a civil war and American soldiers are forced to intervene. The year is 2036 and Lieutenant Thomas Harp (Damson Idris: Snowfall, Black Mirror) – a drone pilot facing disciplinary action – enters combat for the first time. He is partnered with Leo (Anthony Mackie), who happens to be an AI. Together, they are tasked with completing a critical mission that can save the world from nuclear conflict.
Directed by Mikael Håfström (Evil, 4018), the movie is a solid contribution to the action genre and proves to be an entertaining yet thought-provoking watch. As the story unfurls, human reliance on technology – particularly as a tool for destruction – is exposed and questioned, so too is the question of existence. The picture poses inquiries to its audience such as: what is it that makes us a person? Is it based on our compassion, the ability to feel pain or our emotions? Is it something that can – realistically – be brought to AI? In reality, how far away are we from the innovations featured within the film? Outside the Wire suggests around 15 years: a thought both exciting and terrifying.
The movie’s opening is exposition-heavy and hands too much to spectators instead of giving them the chance to figure out what is happening themselves. The result is a series of flashbacks and text overlays that are comparable to video game cut-scenes. However, the feature soon garners pace as the stakes are raised and the narrative begins to carry itself.
Outside the Wire is visually captivating, but does not shy away from exposing the brutality of warfare. Scenes depict children holding guns, bodies strewn across the ground and a world on the brink of collapse. Idris gives a standout performance throughout, and it is clear his star power will only continue to grow. The same can be said of Mackie, whose portrayal of Leo is effortless and stunningly human. Praise must also be given to the visual effects and stunt team, who pull off impressively choreographed explosions and fights, elevating the film to new levels.
In short, Outside the Wire is an entertaining watch, and is sure to be a hit with fans of the fantasy and action genre.
Outside the Wire is released digitally on demand on 15th January 2021.
Watch the trailer for Outside the Wire here: