Thursday, November 5, 2015

Outcast (2014)

Number Rolled: 90
Movie Name/Year: Outcast (2014)
Tagline: Legends are born in battle.
Genre: Action & Adventure
Length: 98 minutes
Rating: NR
Production Companies: Notorious Films, 22h22, Canal+, Media Max Productions, Yunnan Film Group
Executive Producer: Mark Canton, Marc Charette, Jean-Francois Doray, Mike Gabrawy, Andrew Mann, Li Qiyan, Mark Slone
Director: Nick Powell
Writer: James Dormer
Actors: Nicolas Cage, Hayden Christensen, Fernando Chien, Anoja Dias Bolt, Bill Su Jiahang, Jike Junyi, Byron Lawson, Shi Lang, Andy On, Yifei Liu

Seeing his death near, a king names his second son his heir to the anger of his first-born. The heir needs to find a way to be named king before his older brother can get his hands on him.

Selina’s Point of View:
This movie was a complete mess. I’m not even sure where to start.

I guess I’ll start at the single most obvious mess in Outcast: accents.

I’m thinking that Hayden Christensen (American Heist, Vanishing on 7th Street, Awake) and Nicolas Cage (Rage, Joe, The Frozen Ground) were supposed to be speaking in a British accents. I don’t know what accent they were actually speaking in, but it wasn’t British. I was practically raised by my very British next door neighbor. I know the accent well. What they were speaking was some kind of mix of British, Cockney, Irish, Scottish and… dwarven maybe? Some dialect of Ewok? At one point in the beginning I had to turn on captions because I had no clue what Christensen was trying to say.

Moving on, I’ll admit that many of the settings and props used were really well done. The makeup for wounds and scars was amazing. Even my high definition screen couldn’t find flaw with some of the work done. I want to meet John L. Healy (X-Men: The Last Stand, Eragon, True Justice) and his makeup department crew and shake their hands for what I saw.

Unsung heroes, the behind-the-scene crew of any film. I should really start mentioning them more. I have a cousin that does back stage stuff. I should know better.

I digress.

Although most of the settings and props were extremely well done, there were some… flaws. I mean, as audience members we know the knives in the scene are made of rubber, but it breaks the illusion to see them flopping back and forth.

Then there were the characters. Who has a perfectly quaffed Mohawk in the 12th century during the crusades? Why did Nicolas Cage suddenly turn into a pirate? Why is everyone in the East made to seem so gullible?

The plot devices were also an issue. We all know when something is a plot device, but that’s not all it should be. Plot devices lose their usefulness if the audience can count them as they happen. They’re supposed to be as seamless as possible as they move the story along.

Despite the many, many, many flaws… I enjoyed the film. Sure, I was mostly laughing at it, not with it… but enjoyment is still enjoyment. Watch it with friends, mock the accents, and hilarity is sure to ensue.

Cat’s Point of View:
I’d seen a few clips from this movie, but not even the full trailer, prior to its random selection. I thought it looked interesting (and hey - Hayden Christensen [Jumper, Takers, Shattered Glass] looks pretty good with that Mohawk, right?!).

Both Christensen and Nicolas Cage (Trespass, The Croods, Pay the Ghost) tend to be wild cards. Some of their films are fantastic – and the others have us asking ourselves why we’re watching to begin with.

The movie was laced with beautiful scenery, packed with action, and sprinkled with emotion and drama. The stunt work here was pretty cool, and the battle scenes weren’t’ too over-the-top with gore while remaining realistic.

I bought in to Christensen’s war-weary survivor of the brutal crusades, and his personal mission to battle his inner demons. I rooted for his hope of redemption.

There were a few things that bugged me in the film. This was 12th Century in the time of the Crusades – was English really that prevalent among the common populace in China, a xenophobic society with many dialects of their own? I know they likely made that choice from a logistics standpoint to avoid subtitles, but still. Also – king instead of emperor? Maybe I’m letting little things get to me.

Overall, I still enjoyed the movie and I’d even give it a recommendation.  In the meantime, I’ll just be over here with this Peter Cetera song stuck in my head.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 6%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 20%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 2.5/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score3/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 3/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score3.5/5

The Random Rating: R

Movie Trailer:

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