Outside the wire: what is ‘the greater good?

The selling point of ‘Outside The Line’ was the announcement from the producers of The Old Guard and Extraction. Two action-packed movies rocked our streaming screens during the lockdown.

Outside the wire: what is ‘the greater good?

Unlike the immortal heroes we were amused by in The Old Guard or a broken soldier searching for redemption, we felt empathetic towards in Extraction, the idealism, decisions, actions, and inactions of Lieutenant Thomas Harp, the protagonist in ‘Outside the wire’ does raise eyebrows.

Set in eastern Europe in 2036, the movie starts on the battlefield. Violent civil war, like ‘call of duty’ kinda scene. Harp is faced with a tough decision. Save 36 soldiers while leaving two behind or let all 38 soldiers burn.

Disobeying a direct order from his superior officer to stand down, Harp fires a mobile launcher destroying the invading missile but kills 2 of his comrades in the process.

A decision that almost gets him court marshalled instead as punishment Harp is deployed to Eastern Europe so he can see the work foot soldiers do uptight and learn to make better decisions.

We see the difference between drone pilots and soldiers on the ground. While soldiers on the ground are in a storm of bullets flying in all directions, the drone pilots are up in the air, backs relaxed, eating candy.

There Harp is assigned to a unique prototype Leo (Anthony Mackie), A fourth-generation bio-tech.

The contrast of these two characters goes beyond blood flowing through one’s veins. Their ideologies differ entirely.

Leo and Harp are tasked with a covert operation outside the wire. The area outside the demilitarized zone.

The primary mission is to find Viktor Koval (Pilou Asbaek). Viktor has his own unique goal of securing nuclear weapons against the US, which Harp and Leo are working against. In hunting, Viktor Koval, Harp and Leo often disagree.

Harp isn’t comfortable with Leo’s protocols as they go against everything he believes in as a drone pilot and a member of the US Army. But Leo is manipulative. So much that he made Harp believe he is his subordinate which is false.

Leo convinces Harp to commit more acts of insubordination, more breaches, so Leo doesn’t have to follow the chain of human command anymore, giving him the freedom to go rogue and execute his master plan no one sees coming.

Leo, as an AI, believes he is the symbol of never-ending war and chaos in the world, and if he can show how dangerous and faulty AI and his type are, the world governments would have no choice but to stop creating them.

Just like our darling Thanos of the MCU, Leo also believes in the idea popularly known as ‘The Greater Good’.

While the purpose behind their goal is pure, the means to achieve it is evil, which is the same helpful thinking Harp used in the opening. Harp believed by killing 2; he’ll save 36. Leo believes by killing a hundred; he would save millions.

The cold and calculative drone pilot we see in the opening isn’t stopping Leo from going through with it. Instead, he stops Leo saying ‘The Greater Good’ isn’t about saving more or less lives but rather about humanity learning to be better.

Right after that happens, Harp escapes the facility before an incoming drone strikes to neutralize the nukes. Harp makes it out in time, which is logically and physically impossible. I mean, how?

Similar to The old guard and Extraction, ‘Outside The Wire’ is packed with thrilling action, sci-fi, and exceptional CGI. However, “Outside The Wire” has started a conversation. The Old guard and Extraction couldn’t.

In the quest to consistently achieve the greater good, is it bringing the best out of humanity or the worst?

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Israel Olorunnisola is a freelance creative. When he is not writing about Film, Music, TV or Pop culture he is telling stories on Wattpad.

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