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With: James Caviezel, Sophia Myles, Jack Huston, Ron Perlman, John Hurt, John Beale, Katie Bergin, Matt Cooke, Aidan Devine, Ricardo Hoyos, Amy Kerr, Ted Ludzik, Bailey Maughan, Liam McNamara, John Nelles, Simon Northwood, Mark A. Owen, Scott Owen, Owen Pattison, Petra Prazak, James Preston Rogers, Todd Sandomirsky, Cliff Saunders, Patrick Stevenson
Written by: Dirk Blackman, Howard McCain
Directed by: Howard McCain
MPAA Rating: R for violence
Running Time: 115
Date: 07/11/2008

Outlander (2009)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Norse Nonsense

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

I wish they could have just called this what it really is: The Alien and the Vikings Versus the Giant, Nearly-Invisible Monster. But in choosing a boring title like Outlander, they have showed their hand: this movie is no fun at all. Each and every scene comes straight out of the movie handbook, assembled accordingly, with little variation.

We get the arranged, unwanted marriage between the girl and the king's son, the girl's attraction to the mysterious newcomer and the hero asking the girl to stay behind so she doesn't get hurt. There's even a minor character who is introduced with a little speech about drinking mead, just so he can repeat the same speech 90 minutes later when he lies dying in the hero's arms (they're friends now, you see).

At any rate, James Caviezel (humorless, as usual) plays Kainan the alien; he learns the local dialect through the use of a machine, but there's no explanation as to why he looks exactly like an earthly human being. Sophia Myles plays the fiery girl, tough enough to join the battle (women's lib in the 8th century?).

Jack Huston plays Wulfric, the king's son, who at first hates the outlander, but comes to befriend him. Ron Perlman almost provides some humor as the leader of a rival Viking clan, and John Hurt is tragically subdued as the king. Occasionally, but not often enough, the movie veers into unintentional humor, but mostly it just snoozes along.

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