Friday, June 26, 2009

Movie Journal: Outlander

Outlander's basic premise could well be described as such: Aliens meets E.T. meets Conan the Barbarian. Or something like that. Essentially, a humanoid alien(James Caveizel) crashlands on our Earth, accidentally bringing with him the last surviving member of a race of destruction-bent beasts called the Moorwen. The real twist is that these events take place during our Iron Age, and it's up to only the main character and a group of brutal vikings to put an end to the creature.

Now that I've given you a picture of what the story is like, let me just cut to the chase. The plot structure of this film SUCKS. Big time. The pacing is pretty much horrible, and the subplot construction is even worse. If I may, I shall now illustrate my point with a tiny spoiler. In the film's introduction of the character Freya, she's shown arguing with her father because she doesn't want to marry Wulfric, who is heir to the throne. Not only is this kind of predicament totally cliched, but in the case of this story, it's also almost entirely irrelevent. The subject is not brought up at all except for in this one scene, and never again is Freya pressured to marry Wulfric. In other words, the movie introduces what should rightly be an element of conflict and antagonism, and then completely discards it.

As you may have easily surmised by this point, anyone who tells you that this movie is a deep and exciting thrill ride is lying. In this case, no amount of flashy action scenes can make up for such a horrible plot. And even the action scenes themselves are pretty bad. And I mean it. This story offers no true thrill, exhileration, or insight. I only give it such a high rating because some of the visual effects were quite impressive considering the project's relatively low budget. Still, a couple minutes of good special effects is little compensation for two whole wasted hours of one's life.

5 out of 10

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