Bullet Points: The Outsider
It has been said, including on this site multiple times, that Die Hard was and continues to be one of the most influential action movies of all-time. While not on as grand of a scale, Taken has definitely influenced the action genre as well.
Obviously the concept worked well enough the first time that they managed to get two sequels out of it. Then there was the Jean-Claude Van Damme film, 6 Bullets, that definitely had a Taken vibe. Well you can add The Outsider to the list of Taken influenced movies.
- The Premise: The movie stars London’s own Craig Fairbrass as Lex Walker, a British military contractor who leaves his post in Afghanistan after he learns that his daughter was found dead in Los Angeles and the authorities there need him to identify the body. When his superiors tell him that’s not possible, he has a few choice words for them and leaves anyway. But get this, when he arrives in Los Angeles to identify the body… it’s not his daughter! So, Walker starts using his “special set of skills” to figure out where his daughter is.
- The Villain: Walker goes to his daughter’s office and has an impromptu meeting with her boss, Schuuster, played by James Caan. Not surprisingly Caan does a fantastic job as the villain in this film. He doesn’t lose his cool when he is initially confronted by Walker, and like any great businessman, does his best to put a spin on the story like he could have nothing to do with the disappearance of Walker’s daughter, in fact he claims to not even have met all his employees because his company is so big. But when he slips up with a detail, Walker knows he’s hiding something and we get our first real piece of action when Walker deals with Schuuster’s security team in the lobby and by deals with, I mean kicks their asses.
- The Cops: As you might imagine, the whole workplace violence thing attracts the attention of the cops, so Walker is brought in and questioned by Detective Klein (Jason Patric). Walker mentions to the cops that the body he saw at the morgue was not his daughters and is frustrated that nobody is listening to him. Since Schuuster decided not to press charges against Walker, he is free to go. And as you may suspect he continues his independent investigation.
Sometimes on the site, I find movies to review. Other times, movies find me via Netflix suggestions. This was a Netflix suggestion for me and it was not a bad suggestion at all. Will this movie change your life? Probably not. Will you want to run out and find a copy for your permanent collection? I doubt it. But will it hold your interest and entertain you for 90 minutes or so? Absolutely.
I didn’t really know much about the star (as well as one of the writers of the film) Craig Fairbrass. Fairbrass has a better villain look than he does hero, but he plays his role well. Apparently he was in Cliffhanger, but it has been so long since I’ve seen that movie from start to finish that I honestly don’t remember him in it.
The supporting cast definitely helps The Outsider. You can’t go wrong with Santino Corleone himself, James Caan. Jason Patric is no stranger to the action movie scene (Speed 2: Cruise Control anyone?) and there are many guys out there who will fondly remember Shannon Elizabeth from American Pie fame as well.
So fire up your Netflix and give The Outsider a look!