Starring: Sean Connery, Peter Boyle
Director: Peter Hyams
Warner Home Video
Run Time: 105 minutes
Edition Details: Region 2 encoding (Europe, Middle East & Japan only), Widescreen, PAL

Take Alien's slow pace and some of its production designs, but none of its thrills and then you'd have an idea of what to expect from this 1981 effort by director Peter Hyams. (Hyams previously directed Capricorn One, the "NASA faked the Mars landing" thriller and went on to direct the 2001 sequel, 2010 - a less than stellar career to be sure.)

On a mining plant on one of Jupiter's moons, an illegal drug increasing worker productivity is supplied to the blue-collar workers. Productivity skyrockets, but the drugs' side effects include turning its users homicidal and suicidal.

Cue some bloody suicides featuring that scientific bugbear of human bodies exploding in a vacuum. The law in the guise of the local head of security turns a blind eye to this. That is, until a new head (Connery) is appointed. Connery rocks the boat, and soon two assassins are sent for to deal with him. Much of the movie is spent awaiting the arrival of the shuttle bearing the killers while Connery tries to get some of the miners to help them. Predictably, no one wants to help him and Connery has to face the assassins alone.

As you might have gathered by now, the plot is whole scale rip-off of the classic (and superior) western High Noon. The pace is glacial as the movie goes through its very predictable motions. The acting isn't particularly great either (then again, some of the dialogue doesn't give any of them much to work with). But Connery is watchable as ever while Frances Sternhagen as the washed out medical doctor is at least game. The effects are okay and the interior sets of the mining colony are quite good though. Like Alien, it goes for the gritty look as opposed to the clean Logan's Run argument.

WORTH IT? An average movie at best, Outland features some average "special" features (a "making of" featurette, some cast and credit notes, a theatrical trailer).

RECOMMENDATION: Rent it if there's nothing else.



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