Monday, 31 May 2010

Film Review: OUTLANDER (2008)

Director: Howard McCain
Running time: 110 mins (approx)
Certificate (UK): 15

UK Release Date: 24th April 2009

Watched on DVD Sunday 31st May 2010.


I bought this disc on a whim, I hadn’t heard anything about the film but something about it appealed to be. Too often these types of purchase end up quite disappointing, but fortunately the gods smiled on me this time. Don’t get me wrong, it’s far from prefect, but it does what it says on the tin. It’s exciting, entertaining and there’s a dragon (of sorts) in it.

In the year 709AD a spaceship crash lands in a lake in what is now Norway. Two occupants make it to the shore before the ship sinks. One of them removes his helmet and passes out, the other does not move. When the first one awakes, he finds his companion has died. He retrieves a device from the lake and discovers where he has landed. The device ‘downloads’ all the available information about the language and culture of the region directly into his brain. Exploring, he finds a village, totally deserted; it has been attacked by some large creature. Catching sight of riders in the woods he starts to run, but is run down by one of the riders. Waking up in another settlement, he gives them his name, Kainan. The settlement is ruled by Rothgar, whose daughter Freya is promised to Wulfric who will be the next king. The village that Kainan had found was ruled by Gunnar who is away trading. They fear that Gunnar will blame them for the raid. Kainan tells them that the village was destroyed by a Moorwen, an alien creature he had inadvertently brought on his ship. Before long the Moorwen attacks the settlement and it also attacks Gunnar returning from his trading trip. The leaders combine forces to fight off this alien foe and they turn to Kainan for help.

It’s a very well made film with, for the most part, some excellent special effects. The story, although slightly predictable, was quite enjoyable and the fight scenes were all very well done. Pretty good performances from all of the main cast; James Caviezel as Kainan, Sophia Myles as Freya, Jack Huston as Wulfric, John Hurt as Rothgar and Ron Perlman as Gunnar.

I guess my only criticism is with the accents. Why do half of the cast seem to think Vikings spoke with Irish accents? I find it really irritating! Apart from that it was a pretty good effort. It did tend to get a bit baggy in the middle, but over all pretty entertaining, if a bit gory at times. If you like a bit of blood and guts, some swordplay and a touch of Sci-Fi thrown in, then it’s recommended.

My score: 6.6/10

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