Runtime: 90 Mins
There are basically two types of DTV/VOD movies. The filler type that just get made for the sake of it, usually cashing in on some has-been name like Seagal or a franchise sequel. Those are usually shit. Then there’s the second type, the one where someone has an idea for a movie and wants to get it out the door. With that type of movie, the phoning-it-in, at least, is absent, because there’s some passion in there. The Outsider (2013) falls into the latter category. You can tell that it’s a movie where former big names (maybe not Jason Patric, but nice to see him again) signed on because they liked the premise and intent, rather than another cheap pay day. This isn’t a movie that wants to con you. That doesn’t mean it’s a good movie, but I wouldn’t call it a waste of time.
With a slight shade of ultra Manly 1999 thriller ‘The Limey’ (with Terence Stamp), this is a tale of an English mercenary (Craig Fairbrass) leaving his post in Afghanistan to head to Los Angeles to find out what has happened to his daughter. She has fallen afoul of a criminal, so Fairbrass decides to exact revenge – and make a million or two. The bad guy is James Caan, who is always welcome because this is a man who in real life pulled a gun on a ‘rap artist’. Manly Man – James Caan. At 73, still got it. As mentioned above, Caan is here to play a role and he does it well. Remember when he played a piece of shit villain in Eraser (1996)? Yep, he’s back with nice work here. As for Fairbrass, this guy is very likeable and puts in a highly agreeable performance. He’s a good actor and he doesn’t take the predictable route of going full-blown psycho, it’s a nice turn of change. It makes me want to seek out more Fairbrass movies.
There are limitations obviously. The movie, written by Fairbrass himself, starts out better than it ends. It’s an mildly engaging action/thriller in the first half. But it loses traction in the second half when it goes the caper/heist route, it kind of gets too ambitious. Worse though, I think The Outsider has broken ground, the bad kind. We talk a lot about shaking cam syndrome, to coin a phrase. Without exaggerating, in the first fight in particular we are witness to the single worst example of shaking can syndrome in movie history. The camera swings so wildly that the operator seems to have actually dropped it. Now are you fucking serious here! I heard more than I could see. Unforgivable.
As far as time killing DTV goes, you could do worse. Shot on location, Los Angeles, nice performances. But unremarkable.