Reviews & Previews - Outlander

Posted on Friday, January 30, 2009 at 05:00 PM


By: S. Tran

Starring: James Caviezel, Sophia Myles,
Directed By: Howard McCain
Running Time: 115 minutes
Rated: R

Vikings and Monsters Oh My

Outlander seems like a movie that escaped from the Sci Fi channel except that it has a better budget. As a cross between The 13th Warrior and Pitch Black the film is a paint by numbers Hollywood film. If you like space warriors and Vikings then you should run to the theaters as this movie will probably have a limited run.

Caviezel stars as the the mysterious warrior who crash lands on Earth among the ancient Vikings. Through a series of convenient plot devices he learns the language of the locals and sets off to explore the land. After being captured by a local viking group he is forced to help defend them against a mysterious creature that he inadvertently brought to Earth.

The biggest problem with this movie is that it just takes itself so seriously. You have a monster movie with a space cowboy who lives with Vikings. That to me is prime material for a few laughs but the director seems to think he is working with Shakespeare. Compounding the problem is that they do not even do the serious part correctly as there are a number of plot holes in the film. For instance the creature's level of strength and power seem to change during the course of the film to suit the plot.

After playing Jesus any other role is probably let down for Caviezel but you have to believe that he took this role only for the money. There's just not a lot to his character in the film. While his back story allows him to show a little bit of vulnerability it isn't enough and he just plays the heroic stranger. Of course he comes with all the usual accessories that are mandatory for these kinds of characters. There is the beautiful, yet tough woman and of course the cute child who looks up to him.

Myles has a pretty face and provides a few much needed moments of comic relief as the tough Viking princess who falls in love with Caviezel. The rest of the cast are straight caricatures from every Viking film you've ever seen.

In fact apart from the creature there really isn't an original moment in this movie. It feels like it was cobbled together from a bunch of similar films. Production wise it was well done but without a truly interesting story or compelling characters all those production values only serve to make the film tolerable.

When this comes out on DVD, which should be soon, you may want to check it out. Unless Vikings and space monsters aren't your thing.


2 out of 5 stars.


NOTE: The showtimes listed on come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to