Hey gang, Valkor here. And we’re diving into MediaView, where we showcase the best and worst that the film world offers. In this round, we’re checking out the latest from Anthony Mackie, who is an MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) favorite around these parts; He’s done a tremendous job in Infinity War and End Game, but how does he fare outside of the MCU in his latest film Outside the Wire? I’d say he fares damn well! Let’s check it out. And be wary of spoilers.
Outside the Wire takes place in a futuristic setting, with the focus on drone pilot Harp (Damson Idris). While on a mission, he disobeys a direct order from his commander, laying down hellfire on an area filled with insurgents who were crippling defending U.S. troops, ultimately killing two U.S. soldiers, though saving 38 (needs of the many). Rather than face any severe punishment, Harp is sent to a demilitarized zone, where he’s placed under the command of captain Leo (Mackie), who is more than he appears to be. Leo, it turns out, is a highly sophisticated cyborg who is extremely intelligent, physically strong, and quick-witted. Imagine Captain America only cybernetic. Even as Leo tortures a sniper, he spouts one of Caps' famous lines "I can do this all day." As the film progresses, we learn that Harp wasn't just assigned into Leo's command-he was selected by him-mainly because he likes how Harp thinks outside the box. However, Leo encourages Harp to aid him on a special mission, which takes place "outside the wire" or outside of their sector. Things start out simple at first, as all they have to do is drop off vaccines to the locals. But their primary objective, though, is to hunt down a warlord named Victor Koval, who is seeking to gain access to a Russian nuclear weapon, which he plans to use to strike the United States. Things take a turn when Leo goes against his original mission, murders Victor, and seizes control of the nuclear weapons for personal reasons. And now Harp has a lot on his plate, as it's up to him to stop Leo and protect the United States, preventing it from turning into a radioactive melting pot
In this film, there are robots called “Gumps”. Now, I initially found the name silly (because of Forrest Gump). But I quickly forgot about that after becoming so involved with the film. I mean, the name is dumb, but damn, were they awesome! Moving on, Outside the Wire draws a lot from other films, mostly Training Day, but it has the feel of District 9. But how does it all blend? Let’s find out in the TOV Breakdown!
Straight up, I loved Outside the Wire, which is the type of action/thriller that I could watch a hundred times and never grow tired of it! The story is the strongest suit, drawing you in from the start and keeping you there until the spectacular conclusion! Outside the Wire does a great job of balancing the action with the story, but it’s the action that locks you in! And believe me, there’s plenty of it! Bombs, bullets, explosions, and robots-lets not forget the robots! I loved the American Gumps, but I'm not gonna lie the Russian Gumps were badass (you don’t see them until late in the film). But what truly sells Outside the Wire is the acting, and Mackie does an amazing job. I know little of his work outside of the MCU, where he performs well. But in this film, I didn’t expect so much awesome. His character is sometimes serious, but sometimes he’ll crack wise, all the while he’ll curse you out with the quickness. Idris also deserves praise as his character Harp goes through a lot as he has to redeem himself for the choice he initially made with the drone strike, plus dealing with the choices he makes later in the film. In the end, I wasn’t expecting much from Outside the Wire. However, when all is said and done, the film turned out to be an impressive action thriller, one that I will take part through multiple viewings.
I'm not sure how much negativity I can hurl at this one. My main criticism is that there wasn't enough action with the Gump soldiers. Actually, we see some hatred for the Gumps at the beginning of the film, following the drone strike action, when we see a pair of human soldiers smashing one upside the head. If there's a sequel, I'd like to see more of that type of tension. It doesn't have to be a deep hatred, but the human troops must eventually trust and fight alongside the Gumps, no matter how much they despise them. As a result, that would be an interesting story to tell. They can also bring Mackie back with a tweaked A.I.
Outside the Wire is available now on Netflix and Google Play. If you're searching for something exciting with plenty of action as well as thought-provoking drama, look no further because this one has it all! So, out of TOV 5 stars, I give Outside the Wire a 4.5!