Netflix may have posted record viewership numbers throughout 2020, and the recenty released sizzle reel teases an incredible lineup of original content coming this year, but there’s still the nagging feeling that a lot of the company’s in-house movies aren’t maximizing their potential. The feature film division has always struggled to match the platform’s marquee TV projects in terms of consistency, and it often feels as though the all-powerful algorithm is dictating the scripts in order to draw in the widest audience possible as opposed to the creative team.
Anthony Mackie’s new sci-fi actioner Outside the Wire is the latest Netflix original with an intriguing premise, a sizeable budget and no shortage of effects-heavy set pieces, but despite all that, it still feels as though something is missing. As a calling card for Mackie’s action hero credentials, it certainly works, and it isn’t a bad movie by any means. That being said, it could have been so much more after the first two acts hint at some weighty questions being asked about the futility of war and how technology factors into it, before it devolves into formula by the end.
That being said, Outside the Wire has proven to be massively popular with subscribers, and has already soared to the summit of the Top 10 most-watched list on Netflix despite only being released yesterday. The critical consensus hasn’t been particularly enthusiastic, with the movie currently sitting at a lackluster 35% on Rotten Tomatoes, but users appear to be enjoying it a whole lot more.
How long Outside the Wire retains the number one spot is another question altogether, with many titles debuting at the top before slowly sliding downwards and fading almost entirely from memory in a matter of weeks. But as of now, it holds the crown.