Starring: Sean Connery, Peter Boyle
Director: Peter Hyams
Studio: Warner Home Video
Run Time: 105 minutes
Edition Details: Region 2 encoding (Europe, Middle East & Japan only), Widescreen, PAL
Take Alien's slow pace and some of its production designs, but
none of its thrills and then you'd have an idea of what to expect from
this 1981 effort by director Peter Hyams. (Hyams previously directed Capricorn
One, the "NASA faked the Mars landing" thriller and went on to direct
the 2001 sequel, 2010
- a less than stellar career to be sure.)
On a mining plant on one of Jupiter's moons, an illegal
drug increasing worker productivity is supplied to the blue-collar
workers. Productivity skyrockets, but the drugs' side effects include
turning its users homicidal and suicidal.
Cue some bloody suicides featuring that scientific
bugbear of human bodies exploding in a vacuum. The law in the guise of the
local head of security turns a blind eye to this. That is, until a new
head (Connery) is appointed. Connery rocks the boat, and soon two
assassins are sent for to deal with him. Much of the movie is spent
awaiting the arrival of the shuttle bearing the killers while Connery
tries to get some of the miners to help them. Predictably, no one wants to
help him and Connery has to face the assassins alone.
As you might have gathered by now, the plot is whole scale rip-off of
the classic (and superior) western High Noon. The pace is glacial
as the movie goes through its very predictable motions. The acting isn't
particularly great either (then again, some of the dialogue doesn't give
any of them much to work with). But Connery is watchable as ever while
Frances Sternhagen as the washed out medical doctor is at least game.
The effects are okay and the interior sets of the mining colony are quite
good though. Like Alien, it goes for the gritty look as opposed
to the clean Logan's Run argument.
WORTH IT? An average movie at best, Outland features some
average "special" features (a "making of" featurette, some cast and credit
notes, a theatrical trailer).
RECOMMENDATION: Rent it if there's nothing else.