I enjoyed this movie for a couple of reasons. First among them is the Asimov angle. He’s the king of sci-fi who wrote all those clever robotics rules. Whose every thesis went something like: beware artificial intelligence because it will inevitably figure out that humans need to be protected from themselves. We won’t like the measures they take to do so. Except in Outside The Wire’s case, what Leo establishes fairly quickly is that the real enemy is the U.S. military. Even though he’s technically meant to be fighting on its side.
Robots, it turns out, aren’t as blindly patriotic as we might like. Lee sees things from both points of view, and he comes to some conclusions that the American government might not appreciate. It’s a little sad that it takes a robot to consider the socio-political aspect, to put himself in someone else’s shoes and examine other perspectives, but there you have it.
The truth, however, is that Outside The Wire isn’t a terrific movie. It’s not the blockbuster stuff you’ve been craving. Leo can’t reveal his master plan to Harp all at once, so it’s hidden from us as well, making for an occasionally confusing plot. It feels like it takes us through a series of switchbacks that aren’t entirely true. What it’s counting on is that you’ll be so pleased by the action that you’ll be paying half attention to the story.
Still, the action is decent, and so is the relationship between Leo and Harp. Like Training Day if Denzel was also the Terminator. That kind of thing. It’s fun to watch Mackie play a cyborg soldier. As we’ve seen him be a flesh and blood soldier in Hurt Locker and an enhanced superhero in the Marvel universe.