Thursday, January 15, 2009

Outlander [2009]

Director: Howard McCain
Starring: James Caviezel, John Hurt, Sophia Myles, Jack Huston, Ron Perlman
Points: 85 out of 100
Rating: Teen (violence)
Comment: "A tasteful blend of sci-fi and epic adventure..."

I don't remember the last time I saw a movie on one of my favourite film genre, epic movies (Not to be confused with the spoof movie, Epic Movie [2007]). It caught me completely off-guard to see that there are sci-fi elements interspersed into this movie. But thankfully -and surprisingly-, it was tastefully done. This is just one of those movies that I have no prior knowledge or awareness about, I bought the ticket purely on impulse. Despite the advertising, this is no Lord of the Rings, but decent nonetheless and an entertaining movie in it's own right.

The plot centres around a humanoid-extra-terrestrial named Kainan whose spaceship crashed into feudal earth in the Viking territory. Along with him, came an alien predator and it went rampage across the land, tearing down a volatile relationship between two viking clans. It is up to Kainan to finish what he started and save the land.

As I have said earlier, it is no Lord of the Rings. But that's a good thing, actually. After LOTR, I think we have seen enough dwarves and elves to last the rest of this century. This film features Nordic Vikings. Although I have an interest in the Viking civilisation, I don't know enough about it to know whether or not their portrayal in the film is romanticised. Still, it's all exhilarating as there are lots of swords clashing and there are also heart-warming moments.

There is also a subtle hint of criticism towards human civilisation, told through the character of Kainan. You see, Kainan came from a civilisation much more advanced than ours; a civilisation that obviously mirror the insatiable greed of mankind. We came, we saw and we conquered while giving little back in return. It is only a matter of time before nature turn on us with full-force; this is probably reflected in the beastly nature of the alien predator.

If there is any complaint, it is probably the development of the characters. The blend of sci-fi and epic is fresh enough, too bad the same cannot be said of the character development as they are much too predictable; leaving us with no memorable character. The cinematography definitely help disguise that fact, for they certainly ascentuate the boldness of Viking warriors.

Points Calculation

The Good [+100]
- Tasteful blend of sci-fi & epic
- Swordfights!
- Beautiful cinematography

The Bad [-15]
- Character development

100 - 10 = 85 points

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