24 October 2018 | TheLittleSongbird
Out for blood
James Caan is an actor with talent, having done a number of fine performances in great and more films. The title and poster also intrigued. Have an appreciation for action and the idea for the story sounded interesting. Expectations were not high though, having not been impressed at all by the other Brian A. Miller films seen, the others being 'Reprisal', 'The Prince' and 'Vice', all with a well past prime Bruce Willis.
'The Outsider' is not a good film sadly and Caan deserved much better. Comparing the other Brian A. Miller-directed films seen, 'The Outsider' is the best of them while having similar, actually even the same, faults. It fails in the action stakes, faring very unfavourably in relation to other films seen in the genre, and while the same, or similar, premise has been very engagingly done on film 'The Outsider' manages to portray it with no thrills complete with dull pacing, lots of silliness and endless predictability. Not hating it with pleasure, it's my honest opinion and my negative feelings towards it are regrettable.
Will say that there are more visually amateurish films around, there are moments where there is slickness and style.
Best thing about 'The Outsider' is Caan, who has the grizzly intensity, steely command and professionalism that is not present in the rest of the cast.
However, Jason Patric completely lacks intensity and even charisma, very anaemic and Craig Fairbrass mumbles his way through his role, he looks the act with an imposing physique but the awkward and monotone acting is another story. Everybody else is bland and annoying.
Visually, the film does lack cohesion. The music is too loud, should have been used far less and some of the placement is inappropriate. Brian A. Miller directs like he was inexperienced to directing when in reality he wasn't, there is just no energy, momentum or finesse and the non-action oriented parts are handled so indifferently.
Dialogue from the very start to the rushed climax is riddled with clichés and cheese and what little there is of the story is very fatigued and has no surprises, fun or tension, is very pedestrian in pace and fails to make sense or have signs of maturity. Tension and suspense are non-existent. 'The Outsider' goes overboard on the ridiculousness and lack of plausibility and at other points it takes itself too seriously. The action is clumsily choreographed, sloppily edited and not exciting or suspenseful at all, as well as looking at least twenty years out of date and relying far too heavily on convenience. The characters are not compelling or easy to get behind. Do not expect every character in every film to be likeable when characters in numerous films purposefully aren't, but it is an issue if there are characters meant to be rootable and 'The Outsider' has that problem.
Concluding, weak but not a complete shambles. 3/10 Bethany Cox