Outside the Wire [Grade: D]

Director: Mikael Håfström

Cast: Anthony Mackie, Damson Idris, Emily Beecham

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A few weeks ago, I mentioned this film and shared a thought based on the trailer via my IG page (@the_dukereel). The thought I had, based on the trailer was, “Yeah, it’s another testosterone heavy action with a typical sci-fi element, so it should be entertaining. Plus some on the team worked on “The Old Guard” of 2020, which is promising.” I even classified it as an “honorable mention.”

Now the question is do I stand by what I said. At the time of me watching this movie, it was #1 on Netflix. Possibly because of the typical action aesthetics, and even Anthony Mackie. But does it deserve the #1 spot on Netflix? Eh… not at all. There was a lot going on in this film, and yet not enough.

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Below are my grades for key components in #OutsideTheWire that I find to be key in any story/film—Theme, Plot, Pacing, and Character Arc/Development. I think it is also important for me to add that moving forward, I will not include a plus-rating, but will continue with minus-ratings. 

Additionally, I have added an entertainment factor scale to help you determine whether or not the film is something you’d be interested in taking time out of your weekend, evening, or day to watch. The scale range consists of: Worth the Watch, Interesting Enough (if looking for something new to start), & Don’t Rush.

* * *

Theme: F

Plot: D

Pacing: C

Character Arc/Development: C

Entertainment Factor: Don’t Rush

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My Takeaways—(BOLD = Thumbs Up/Pluses, & Relaxed = Thumbs Down/Lacking):

  1. One thing I won’t take away from this film is Anthony Mackie’s delivery. If you didn’t have any respect for Anthony Mackie as a true actor, you most definitely should after this one. If anything, he carried the better parts of this film.

2. It took about an hour in before things started to pick up, and the true entertainment kicked in–all led by Anthony Mackie of course.

3. The fight scenes, when they finally happened…with Anthony Mackie…were fun to watch.

4. Chile, WHERE did all these random assumptions about Harp come from? NOTHING at the start of the film, nor the first 45-50 minutes of the film alluded to him being what Captain Leo claimed he could sense while in that car ride… #MakeitMakeSense

5. I wanted to burst out and laugh at Leo’s rationale to Harp… … It reminded me of a scene from The Five Heartbeats when Eddie said, “They think they know, man. But they don’t know man…” and just like Dresser’s response to Eddie, I had the same thought–“What the HELL are you talking about, man?!” LOL LOL

6. I actually found the Gumps industrially adorable… … LOL #KanyeShrug. I thought their movements and stance were so cute LOL LOL

7. That anticipation close up of Viktor… .. LOL LOL Chile, was it even NECESSARY!? Like, WHAT? LOL

8. I felt like someone took a middle schooler’s creative writing project, and amped up the hyper-masculinity on it…

9. When are we going to elevate the creative depictions around our foreign relations? The topic/premise felt so antediluvian.

10. You know…Emily Beecham wasn’t so bad. Though her part was small, she delivered quite well.

11. AND, I would also add that Damson Idris did a decent job delivering his role.

12. Chile, and again… it was the hyper-masculinity for me… … I just… I can’t LOL LOL

13. And WHY are we bringing up Olivia? What was her purpose, and how did other characters react (or supposed to react) because of her? LOL like, huh?

14. How are you “that young”, with your very specific background, but can have these types of conversations as if you know what it’s like? The team really should’ve thought a little more about the essence of this character.

15. I did appreciate the pacing in the beginning to get the 2 main characters together.

16. I just want to continue to praise Anthony Mackie. He was such a joy and savior of this story… once he was able to really deliver.

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Overall, #OutsideTheWire gives Training Day-meets-District 9-meets-Mass Effect Video Game-meets-Metalhead episode of Black Mirror; and just like all of that sounds like too much of a mess, that’s exactly what comes across in reference to the storyline. I don’t even know if I can say this had the potential to actually be so much more.

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