Monday, January 18, 2021

Outside The Wire (2021)

Since the arrival of Netflix and it's seemingly endless supply of cash for filmmakers, we have been getting some interesting science fiction movies that can combine compelling stories with cutting edge computer generated effects.

Anthony Mackie of MCU fame is a futuristic soldier who takes on a new 'apprentice' for one hell of a training day. Like Machines of Man, this is another look at the future of armed combat.

Harp is a young drone pilot who makes a difficult call one day and is given a special mission that I suspect other people have been given and also didn't survive that call of duty. He messed up as a drone pilot and now he has to be put into the field for a 'refresher' course in understanding what combat is all about. To do that he is assigned to Mackie's character, a super soldier with 'issues'.

In this time cyborg soldiers are as regular as females in combat. They are called Gump Units and like all robot soldiers are just inching to go off their nut. Nothing makes a bad situation worse than a twitchy combat robot on both sides.

Mackie himself is solid as a super soldier of a special kind and he needs a buddy to go after some stray nukes with the very fate of the world at stake. Sure, why not?

"4th Generation Bio Tech and your Commanding Officer and I'm giving you sixty seconds to deal with it." - It's a pretty sweet moment of discovery and introduction.

I like the pace of this one. Everyone expresses exactly what is on their minds at any given second. Too much conversation when you SHOULD be concentrating on the rebel forces all around you. This one tightened the old butthole a few times. The combat scenes are pretty intense and people survive shit that should have killed them if they were lower on the cast list.

Much violent action ensues as our two buddies chase down nuclear weapon codes secured in a secret inner city vault. The European location shoot adds to the whole eerie feeling at work here. I liked it's who manic nature. The sets are big and ugly and industrial so it had to be Slovakia. Definitely old school Soviet design.

I liked the chemistry between the two leads. Mackie has an easy charm and for a robot, a pretty great sense of humor. I hope he carries that part to Falcon and the Winter Soldier when that premieres later this year. This one feels like something he did to keep in shape and enjoy a summer in Europe.

The fight chorography is pretty slick with combat robots doing all kinds of damage. In fact, we even get an old school missile countdown clock. That is the good stuff. It's not a perfect ending to the story which seems a let down compared to what came before it.

The philosophy of robots in combat also gets a solid workout. The story is compelling and my interest was rewarded with a slick little adventure from the Netflix vault that is filling up with genre films of this type. Action direction is underrated these days and this one finds new ways to show people dying in combat. I think I also saw the first stuntwoman get shot in the face. March forward Sister Girl I guess.

It's unfortunate that the movie takes a sharp turn into the man vs machine argument and doesn't earn the ending it hopes for. Bad guys are good guys are bad guys and the like ends with some lazy action sequences that let me down in the end.

With the faults, it's still a good diversion and Mackie is going to be a huge action star. I look forward to Falcon and the Winter Soldier even more now.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Yeah, I saw this on the Netflix lineup and thought about watching it just for Mackie. Thanks for the review!

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

And thank you for reminding me to check the spelling first.