In the near future, a drone pilot sent into a war zone finds himself paired with a top-secret android officer on a mission to stop a nuclear attack.
“Ex-Machina” meets “The Terminator” in this tired storyline with plenty of bloodshed, explosions, as it travels down a familiar path. The world is in turmoil and Lt. Thomas Harp (Damson Idris), an insubordinate soldier “fighting” a war from a computer screen that feels much more like a video game to him than actual warfare, finds himself matched up with Leo (Anthony Mackie), a unique man/machine seemingly fighting his own war. The moralistic bombardment is too heavy handed as it attempts to bring to the forefront the issue of the toll war truly takes, who can we really trust, and the dangers of nuclear armament, group-think, greed, and dictatorships.
Mackie’s performance saves the film as he carries his co-star Idris who comes off stiff and unsure. The writers’ attempts at humor give us hope of future banter between the two stars, but alas, this gets tossed out the window not far into the story. The special effects are quite impressive, though, particularly Mackie’s character’s half man, half machine look. Unfortunately, with nothing new “Outside the Wire” will be just another action flick whose name you won’t remember in a month.
1 1/2 stars
I’d be hard pressed to think of a single original idea in this big-budget waste of time, a by-the-numbers actioner that cobbles together elements from a myriad of much-better movies. Anthony Mackie does his best to bring some energy to his role as a cyborg caught in the middle of a run-of-the-mill action conflict but he’s not given much to play off of as his co-star Damson Idris has the charisma of a cup of milk. The young actor brings nothing to the screen while the numerous action sequences are overdone and pedestrian.
1 1/2 Stars