Vol. 14, No. 09 – Jan 27 – Feb 9, 2021 – Movie Review

Streaming Spotlight by Cindy Summers
Outside the Wire – Netflix Originals

3 out of 4 palm trees
Breeze rating from 1 to 4 palm trees, 4 being best.

In 2036, a violent civil war had erupted in Eastern Europe. US troops were stationed as peacekeepers on the lawless new frontier, which was controlled by a ruthless criminal warlord named Viktor Koval – a ghost that few people had seen. To combat Koval’s growing power, the Pentagon deployed robotic soldiers called “Gumps” to active duty for the first time.

While soldiers on the ground were pinned down fighting against rebels in a European seized town, drone operator Lieutenant Thomas Harp (Damson Idris) controlled a surveillance drone from a military base in Nevada. He noticed a large vehicle approaching the area at a high rate of speed and asked the commanding officer on the ground for permission to engage. The officer denied his request stating that he had two men down and wanted to rescue the wounded soldiers.

While the ground troops pleaded for cover fire from the drone, Harp called into command to request ignoring the intel on the ground and destroy the vehicle. He stated that though 2 men were in danger that 38 other men could lose their lives if he was correct that the large vehicle was a launcher in disguise. Harp was told to stand down, but ignored the command and fired on the truck killing two US soldiers in the explosion.

Harp was brought before the Ethics Committee, and was asked if he had ever spent any time in a conflict zone or experienced a mass-casualty encounter other than from behind a computer screen. Harp barely avoided court-martial, but was deployed to Camp Nathaniel on the European front lines and told to report to Captain Leo (Anthony Mackie).

Leo questioned Harp about his number of insurgent kills, as well as collateral, and Harp’s response to the collateral number was an uncaring “the numbers are within mission goals and flight hours.” Leo told Harp he was Marine Special Operations, then took his shirt off to reveal the electronics at the core of his seemingly human body and told Harp he was a classified 4th generation biotech military prototype known only by Harp and Leo’s commanding officer.

Leo told Harp that he wasn’t there for punishment, he was there to aid Leo in thinking outside the box and headed outside the wire to deliver cholera vaccines to a clinic. Leo traveled frequently outside the wire and was known to many of the people who lived in the new frontier. While visiting an orphanage where Leo had a contact, Harp saw the reality of his collateral numbers signified by all the children there who had lost their parents in the conflict.

Leo learned of Koval’s possible location and that he had most likely acquired the nuclear codes to launch dormant nukes against the US. Leo asked Harp to remove his tracking device from his back so that Koval’s men wouldn’t detect them through his signal and they went to Koval’s compound initiating a drone attack where it appeared Leo also got caught in and destroyed.

The explosion was actually used as a cover to allow Leo to recover the nuclear codes and escape. He had his own plan of destruction he wanted to carry out and could now do so without anyone stopping him as the device Harp removed was not a tracker, but a fail safe. Working with his old commanding officer, Harp set out to track down Leo for a battle pitting man against machine to save the world from nuclear destruction.

Rated: R
Runtime: 1h 55m

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