Since its debut on January 15, Anthony Mackie’s fast-paced action/sci-fi movie Outside the Wire has set several tongues wagging. Currently, the movie has been a dominant force on Netflix’s Top 10 list, holding down the top spot.
The story is set in 2036, with Mackie starting as a humorous but quite lethal Android soldier Leo. Leo is matched up with drone pilot Thomas Harp (portrayed by Damson Idris). A decision made by Harp leaves two Marines dead, and he’s sent to the front lines to witness first hand the horrors of war, with Leo.
Packed with thrilling action scenes, the movie also delivers two wonderful performances from its two lead characters, even though it fails to delve too deep into discussions of warfare morality.
Mackie’s talents are familiar and undisputed, particularly among fans of the Marvel movies and here he delivers another superb demonstration of his prowess. However, Idris’s performance is just as dexterous, making him potentially the film’s standout star. His acting is convincing and offers viewers a glimpse of the character’s emotional evolution.
Surprisingly, this movie has been panned by critics, receiving mainly negative reviews. The consensus is that the movie fails to fully explore the possibilities offered up by its concept. The film is currently rated an underwhelming 36% on Rotten Tomatoes. Nevertheless, one thing most critics rate highly is the performance of the cast.
Glen Kenny of RogerEbert. com wrote in his review: “The visual effects are decent, the cast is better than decent.” Meanwhile, Empire’s Amon Warmann praised the actors, but ultimately declared the movie, “rarely rises above being a serviceable action thriller.”
San Jose Mercury News critics, Randy Myers praised the movie for delivering on its premise in his review, stating that “Outside the Wire is an efficient, fast-paced rollercoaster ride that’s smart and buoyed by a razor-sharp screenplay and two magnetic performances.”