Outlander

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The ViewWellington Review

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Review byMatthew Turner22/04/2009

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 115 mins

Vikings vs aliens - what's not to love? This delivers pretty much everything you could hope for from a movie whose premise basically boils down to Vikings fighting aliens.

What's it all about?
Directed by Howard McCain, Outlander (not to be confused with Outlanders, the recent Polish immigrant drama) stars Jim Caviezel as Kainan, an alien astronaut who crashes his spaceship somewhere in Norway, circa 709 AD. Unfortunately, the crash also releases Kainan's cargo, a vicious, fire-breathing alien creature called a Moorwen.

When Kainan is subsequently captured by Vikings, he attempts to persuade them to help him hunt the creature, by letting them believe that it's a dragon. Meanwhile, he earns the trust of the Viking leader, Rothgar (John Hurt), gets lusted after by Rothgar's fesity daughter Freya (Sophia Myles), clashes with love rival and top warrior Wulfric (Jack Huston) and helps smooth things over with rival leader Gunnar (Ron Perlman) so that the Viking tribes can unite against the creature.

The Good
The premise of Outlander is pure genius and the chances are that if the phrase Vikings vs aliens is enough to make you want to see the film, then you won't be disappointed. It's certainly cheesy and takes some worrying detours into pointless sentimentality (cute orphan child alert!), but it's also a hell of a lot of fun, thanks to well paced direction, terrific creature effects and some excitingly directed action scenes.

Caviezel is excellent as Kainan; he's always had a slightly not-quite-of-this-earth quality about him as an actor and that's put to good use here. There's also strong support from Myles (on top feisty form), the always-excellent Perlman and the equally always-excellent Hurt, though Huston is a little too much of a pretty boy to really convince as Wulfric.

The Great
Unsurprisingly, the film's also not without humour – for example, no prizes for guessing what Kainan's first word is after getting his rather painful-looking language implant.

Worth seeing?
Outlander is a hugely enjoyable sci-fi action romp that delivers perfectly on its pulpy premise. Highly recommended.

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Outlander
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Content updated: 18/10/2017 00:36

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