Monday, February 02, 2009


Jesus Christ is back. This time as a humanoid alien in first century Norway, and for all practical purposes, as an atheist. “There’s no god,” he says, “Only me.” However, as the film ends and the abominable beastie and her offspring is dead, he is declare a god, who came to the earth to help us survive and decided to stay on to rule a Norse village.
James ‘Jim’ Caviezel is back to a starring role after the super-successful 'The Passion of the Christ' (Recently, we had seen him as a demented murderer in Tony Scott’s 'Deja Vu.' But that was a Danzel Washington film.). In Outlander, he plays an alien warrior on a mission to undo the crime his tribe did in another planet. And, man, does he rock? Isn’t he the most handsome man in the world? I did not really care about the movie as long as I could stare at Caviezel brooding. He is just so captivating... I hope you get my drift...
Yes, I am big fan of Caviezel, since I saw Terrence Malick’s The Thin Red Line. There is a scene in the film where a disillusioned soldier, Caviezel, swims underwater with some local kids somewhere in a tropical island. And he looks like a work of art. I have seen that scene for god knows how many times, and still love it. There were some films that did not work for me, like 'The Count of Monte Cristo,' and 'High Crimes.' But he was again in his brooding lost man self in 'Pay It Forward,' a drifter who is given a second chance.
In Outlander, he perfects this lost man look and gives the film an emotional edge. He is perhaps the reason why this film, a mishmash of Alien vs Predator genre with a generous dose of Pathfinder thrown in, works.
Yes, I know, I am getting all hyper, and I am sure I will be biased about the film, just because Jim Caviezel is there. But, frankly, the film is not as bad as some reviews have made it look like. Agreed, this is not a masterpiece or anything like that. It’s just a decent actioner that works, despite too many loopholes in it.
There was a human-like race somewhere in the universe. When their own planet died and decayed, they found another, home to a creature called Moorwen. The tribe killed the Moorwens and settled there. But, there was one surviving beast, and one day he killed the entire tribe but one, Kainan, who made escape on a starship with the Moorwen in hot pursuit.
And where should this high-tech guy land but Iron Age Norway, land of the Vikings. Through his Gizmos, he learns the local language, English, for the benefit of the audience. He is then taken as a prisoner to the village where he meets the king, his daughter Freya, her suitor Wulfric and a rouge enemy Gunnar. It’s takes him some time to convince the villagers that there is a breast in the woods, who shines like light in the dark. Finally, he does convince, a lot of people die and our hero saves the day, gets his girl and a son as well, and becomes a king. He decides not to return to his planet. Happy Ending.
But Caviezel is a treat to watch, and the action moves pretty fast for a two-hour movie. However, most of the happening actually fail to touch you. I mean, it’s not The Lord Of The Rings by any means. You feel bad for Ron Pearlman (of 'Hellboy' fame) in a thankless role as Gunner. And, apart from Caviezel, it’s only John Hurt who manages to hold on his own.
But as long as there’s Caviezel, I won’t complain.

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