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Movie Review: Outlaw

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To be perfectly honest, there was no rhyme or reason as to why I decided to watch this movie. It has little to no fanfare, no actors I particularly like, and it's British. The last British movie I enjoyed was the classic from 2004, Shaun of the Dead. Before that, I can't recall. I do believe though, my watching this movie has to have had something to do with the fact that British + vigilantes = crazy shit.

Of course I could be, and ultimately am, wrong. Outlaw may be one of the worst movies I've ever seen. And that says a lot, considering there are contenders like From Justin to Kelly and Epic Movie in the ring. I literally have no idea what the writer/director (Nick Love) was thinking. It is that bad.

Here is the premise in a nutshell. Bryant (Sean Bean), a recently released military gent, decides he's had enough of the lawlessness and corruption in the country (he's been back for a few days). He brings in his brother Sandy (Rupert Friend), Simon (Sean Harris), a freaky rent-a-cop, Gene (Danny Dyer), a dork who got his ass kicked by some hooligans, and Cedric (Lennie James), a prosecuting barrister whose wife and child were killed, to fill out his vigilante gang. Rounding out the group is a disgruntled policeman played by Bob Hoskins. They all decide to go after the cronies of Manning, the drug dealer who killed Cedric's family. Okay, it's not the worst idea for a movie – even I'll agree the plot looks like it can work – but looks are deceiving.

Was the director trying to create a testosterone-fueled movie like Fight Club? There is certainly a lot of fighting and repressed rage. Was the director trying to make a statement in a similar vein as V for Vendetta? There is certainly a great deal of angst about the government and the desire to change its direction by any means necessary. However, Outlaw doesn't really figure out what it wants to be. It basically zig-zags around in a haphazard fashion, never focusing on an identity path.

Mostly, I found myself irritated by the stupidity of it all. A barrister gets his family threatened and doesn't report it and then decides to becomes a vigilante? So let me understand, is he is fighting against himself? I'm no criminal mastermind, but even in the comic books, they cover their face with a fancy mask before deciding to break some skulls open. These crackpots beat the shit out of some very bad people, and let them live, even though these perps have seen their faces and know their names! What the fuck do they hope to accomplish? If it's getting a death wish granted, they've succeeded.

My parting words on Outlaw is it will make you laugh and cry. You'll laugh because the movie is so bad that you're an asshole for spending time and money to watch it. You'll cry because the movie is so bad that you're an asshole for spending time and money to watch it. Either way you’re an asshole for watching it – just like me.

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About General Disdain

  • cvc

    I am interested in the way that films about vigilantes are attacked using moral arguments but films about gangsters and criminals are not. I think this says a lot about the people doing the criticizing – they must live in a very comfortable, cocooned little world. I will remember Outlaw for a long time and it will affect my behaviour. No childish rubbish like Tarantino could ever do that.

  • http://www.thecriticalcritics.com General Disdain

    I don’t believe I criticized the movie on any moral grounds — that wasn’t necessary since the movie was bad on so many other levels.