Movie Review: Outcast

Before I start, I wanted to say thank you to everyone who read my piece, Regret, yesterday and today. Thanks to you guys, I set a new record for likes on the blog in one day. I recognize I don’t write life posts half as much as I’d like and I’ll try to make it more of a priority.

The trailer for Outcast looked like garbage. Jon’s least favorite actor is Hayden Christensen of Star Wars infamy. Outcast featured Christensen and Nicolas Cage. We had to see this.

So my roommate and I said we would see it over the summer because that was the impression that we gathered, that it was coming out this summer. Two weeks later, I’m looking through movies at Walmart and there’s Outcast. We split the cost and agreed we’d watch it for the last Bad Movie Wednesday of the semester.

So we watched it yesterday and man, did it suck.

In my last review on Crank, I talked about immediate immersion, inserting an audience into a plot with no context.

Crank did a fair job of demonstrating this type of intro. Outcast does not.

Throwing us into a medieval Crusade fight scene and taping people getting chopped and stabbed is not attention-grabbing. The only way you begin a film with a fight scene is with stellar special effects and awe-inducing stunt choreography.

Outcast does neither and accrues no connection to the characters. Had Christensen or Cage died in the opening minutes, I wouldn’t have cared. The film gave me no reason to, so why should I?

So people die and I have no cares to give and suddenly we’re in China three years later. There is no introduction of our main characters. I don’t even remember a name drop. No “how long have they been fighting”, “what bond do they have”, nothing. Whatever. I’m already cringing.

So now we’re in China and the dying emperor decides he wants his youngest son, who throughout the course of the film will prove his incompetence, inability to listen and irresponsibility, to be his successor. Guess China’s screwed.

Knowing his eldest son, a ruthless warrior, will not agree with the decision, the emperor sends his son and youngest daughter away with the royal seal.

The acting in these opening segments is especially horrid and the dialogue as unoriginal as the song, Happy Birthday. The execution of the lines is so poorly handled. I don’t know how a guy can sit in a director’s chair, listen to this delivery and be satisfied at even a mediocre level let alone a final cut standard.

Which brings me to a quick sidenote: Why are bloggers in the film community on WordPress not getting placed in the director’s chair? We have all seen films that would have been better served in an ashtray and films that shower us with spectacle after spectacle. We know what attracts and detracts. With all of the creative minds on this planet, how are we being skipped for movies when a novice like Nick Powell can direct a film? Makes no sense to me. I’m confident, either individually or together, that we could make a better film than Outcast.

There’s no acting prowess on this screen. I don’t know what happened to Nicolas Cage, if the guy has lost his mind or has simply been taking too many roles for paychecks but the guy’s got nothing. His try-hard British accent is laughable and his best acting moments are the tipping of the bottle. Real hard stuff.

College Humor did a piece a few years ago entitled “Nicolas Cage’s Agent” and the reason it remains so hilarious today is because every cent of it is true. Cage is the real life embodiment of the yes man. I don’t think he’s ever said no once in his entire life. If the guy were just starting out, I would understand his willingness to grab it all. However, Cage has talent in front of the camera. All jokes aside, we’ve seen it before. We know it’s in there somewhere, but for some reason, he continues to scribble over his name and tarnish his reputation for buffalo chips like this. The only role he’s played that I’ve read positive reviews about in the last five years is Joe.

There’s losing your way and then there’s not giving a crap and I’m starting to think Cage is the latter, which really ticks me off because he’s wasting everyone’s time. If you don’t want to do your best in something, don’t do it.

Of course, how can we forget Hayden Christensen and his mohawk. Yes, I said mohawk. For some reason, the crew thought Mohawks were a thing during the 13th century. Pretty stupid. Actually, I think the correct term would be ugly stupid. There’s nothing pretty about that.

So we got Christensen high on opium and yet his character is able to demolish a party of palace guards with his unbalanced vision, including throwing a staff 30 feet into a guy’s eye, inches from the princess’ head. Ummmmmm…..NO.

There’s no thrill to the action, the plot trudges and I really don’t want to talk about the dialogue again.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (InterstellarChappieAmerican BeautyGone GirlMulan)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (EquilibriumDead Snow: Red vs. DeadSnowpiercerThe FamilyWhen the Game Stands Tall)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Black SheepTwistedParkerHouse at the End of the StreetThe Raven)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (BlitzThe PunisherDrive HardRun All NightRage)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (CrankErasedI, FrankensteinThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The ColonyIn the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege TaleThe GreyX-Men: Days of Future PastThor: The Dark World)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (SabotageGallowwalkersTucker & Dale vs. EvilSafeWatchmen)

My score for Outcast: 18.

With a script that would bore third-graders and stunt choreography that is a dishonor to Asian culture, Outcast falls on its sword more times than Cage has in the last two years. In other words, many, many times. However, this will not be the last time you hear of Outcast: two weeks ago, producer Jeremy Bolt announced plans for a sequel. Crap.

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