The Outsider hardly breaks new ground in the action/thriller genres but its breezy entertainment for 90-minute duration and features respectable enough acting work from the cast even if the actions of the characters don’t make a lick of sense.
Genre(s): Action, Crime, Drama
RLJ Entertainment | NR – 94 min. – $29.97 | March 11, 2014
THE MOVIE – 3.0/5
British mercenary Lex Walker (CRAIG FAIRBRASS) receives word while serving in Afghanistan that his daughter, Samantha, has been murdered and eventually makes way to Los Angeles, after given a ridiculous and callous ultimatum by his military superior and a stopover to his London home, where, once he sees the body reveals the girl on the slab was somebody else.
Walker starts to do some digging and finds out she worked for a shady company called “Most Industries” and confronts its millionaire CEO, Karl Schuuster (JAMES CAAN), who certainly knows something about the murder because… well and as we later learn, his dumbass goons made a mistake and killed the wrong woman. Investigating the murder is L.A.P.D detective Michael Klein (JASON PATRIC) and thanks to Walker’s literally hard-hitting exploratory skills, is on Klein’s radar.
After Walker starts flashing around cash for information, he receives reluctant help from bar waitress Margo (SHANNON ELIZABETH) who leads him to club owner Ricky (JOHNNY MESSNER) who in turns takes him to a safe house where Samantha (MELISSA ORDWAY) has been hiding out at. She reveals the true intentions of “Most Industries”: a mass identity theft operation and Schuuster is quite good at not getting caught, but Samantha has the data necessary to shut down the operation which is why they want her dead.
Ok, basic plotline aside, and some shoddy editing as well, I actually was pleasantly surprised by The Outsider as it’s a generally fun little action flick with an amiable cast led by Craig Fairbrass, an actor on the trashy UK soap opera, “EastEnders”. I don’t mind saying, I like Fairbrass in this role, he’s akin to Vinnie Jones, albeit not nearly as badass but is certainly more charismatic compared to someone like Dominic Purcell who has made his way into the direct-to-video realm.
Here, though Fairbrass plays the two-dimensional role well enough and is surrounding by a decent cast of “oh yeah, I remember him/her!” including Jason Patric (Speed 2: Cruise Control) wondering how Bullock’s career has skyrocketed; Shannon Elizabeth (American Pie 1-2) whose name isn’t even good enough to land on the front cover; and the always enigmatic James Caan in the underwritten role as the villain. No, it’s not an all-star cast, but respectable enough considering the material.
The Outsider was written and directed by Brian A. Miller (Officer Down and an upcoming sci-fi/thriller Vice starring Bruce Willis and Thomas Jane) – with a story credit to Fairbrass – and although the title is generic and the story is thin, I still found this to be an entertaining little action-thriller with a charismatic star who I hope finds some more work in some supporting roles in more major motion pictures because he’s actually not that bad.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 0/5
Other than some previews (The Numbers Station, The Colony, Evidence), no features have been included. This release does, however, come with a thin and fragile slip cover.
VIDEO – 3.75/5
The Outsider is presented with a 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and in 1080p high-definition. Considering this was a low-budget flick, I was pleasantly surprised to find the transfer wasn’t too bad with good detail levels and no major instances of pixilation. Colors are muted since most of the movie takes place at night.
AUDIO – 3.75/5
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is also relatively impressive though the music score often overpowers scenes to the point where the on-screen action seems to be drowned out, so it is pretty annoying. Still, dialogue levels are crisp and clear, so this lossless track is at last halfway decent.
OVERALL – 2.75/5
Overall, The Outsider hardly breaks new ground in the action/thriller genres but its breezy entertainment for 90-minute duration and features respectable enough acting work from the cast even if the actions of the characters don’t make a lick of sense. The Blu-ray does have a whole lot to offer with no features and standard audio/video transfers.