“[A] film that’s as watchable as it is forgettable.”
Director Brian A Miller’s last movie, Officer Down, was a lukewarm affair but certainly entertaining, and he’s followed up with another film that’s as watchable as it is forgettable. The Outsider stars British actor, Craig Fairbrass, and while he’s a very capable performer, putting the entire film on his shoulders was a bit of a gamble. Give Fairbrass a supporting stint and he normally gives a solid performance (except in Deranged, for some odd reason) but I wasn’t crazy about his leading role in The Outsider. He lacks the charisma that is needed for this type of action thriller, that most actors need to carry a film, however, “I fink” he still has that hard man appeal that got him through this film by the skin of his teeth.
In the supporting roles were a mixed batch of well-known (ish) actors, with the likes of James Caan slumming it again, in this $4 million effort, as bad guy Schuuster. We also had Jason Patric playing Detective Klein, and both of these actors were expectedly good. Then we had the talents of the stunning Shannon Elizabeth, who played Margo, with the lovely Melissa Ordway as daughter, Samantha.
The Outsider, tells the story of Samantha Walker, a troubled young woman who fakes her own death, but when her father, Lex, comes to ID the body, he realises that it isn’t his daughter lying on the slab, and begins to search for the missing girl. The first place he visits is Samantha’s former employer, Schuuster, but after Schuuster doesn’t convince Lex he knows nothing about Sam’s whereabouts, Lex easily beats up two bodyguards and gets arrested. While under arrest, Lex catches the attention of the officers who found the body in the first place, and convinces them they ID’d the wrong girl. Lex is set free and proceeds to punch and shoot his way to the truth of what really happened and discover the whereabouts of his daughter.
The cinematography by Eduardo Enrique Mayén, was mostly tight with the exception of overused lens flare during the opening sequence. The story itself, while certainly mildly entertaining, was pretty far-fetched and hard to swallow. Lex basically breezed through the film, killing and maiming, with disregard to the law, and after several shootouts and punch-ups, he was left with barely a scratch or a parking ticket. Considering he was in a foreign country, breaking every major law of the land, It’s hard to believe the cops wouldn’t have him under lock and key for that kind of behaviour.
The performances by the supporting cast were good and helped with Fairbrass’ less inspiring one, keeping The Outsider from slipping into TV movie mode. Miller kept up a decent pace and the film moved along without really slowing down which was actually in the films favour. The Outsider will entertain you to a point, but it is a film that you wont remember seeing shortly after watching.
by Nav Qateel