When the Space Pirate Queen asked me if I was interested in watching and reviewing a movie starring Nicolas Cage that took place during the Crusades my response was somewhere in the “Oh Hellz Yes” category. That movie, kids, is Outcast.
This movie is without a doubt entertaining and not just because Nicolas Cage has a British accent in it. Outcast is the story of warrior Jacob (Hayden Christensen) who years after the Crusades is in “The Far East” and he helps a young prince and princess escape from their evil warlord brother, Shing, who is on a mission to have them killed so that he may be the next Emperor. Jacob is haunted by his time in the Crusades and is also an opium addict, so he’s a lot of fun to be around, but he’s also an excellent warrior. The movie shows their journey which is certainly bumpy and includes deception, betrayal, and redemption.
I have to say that I was kind of rooting for Shing during the movie. I mean, I would be pissed too if my dad made me become a warrior and then specifically bypassed the throne to my younger brother because I was a warrior and the next Emperor supposedly ought to be a peaceful man. That’s a Catch 22 if there ever was one, so poor Shing. Sure, he can be a little bloodthirsty, but he spent his entire life defending the very country he was supposed to rule one day! Screw his old man! You do you, Shing, you do you.
Also, Princess Lian, if you want to hide from your bloodthirsty older brother and be incognito you may want to try not wearing a huge white outfit with a matching cape. Just saying. Also, it’s nice to know that Jacob managed to possess hair gel in the 13th century. Maybe it’s a trick he learned during his travels in the Crusades.
Their journey of escape eventually leads to Gallain (Nicolas Cage) who was once a compatriot of Jacob’s and now is an eccentric outlaw referred to as “The White Ghost.” You can tell Cage had a lot of fun with this role and it definitely adds to the entertainment value of the movie. Once again, this is Nicolas Cage with an English accent. Score.
In all honesty, I enjoyed the story of Outcast. The tale of a man with a past looking for redemption is one that is timeless, and the scenery of the movie is really pretty and helps take you to another place and time. I also liked the character of Princess Lian (Yifei Liu) a lot and frankly she is one of the strongest parts of the movie. Lian wasn’t just a hapless damsel, she had a good head on her shoulders and told off Jacob when he made a sexist comment. That put quite the smile on my face. I think where the movie falters a bit is the pacing of the story, for instance the opening sequence feels a little out of place when it is immediately followed by a time jump to the future with completely different characters. Also it was a little too darkly lit, so there were times when it was hard to tell what was happening because I couldn’t see and I really wanted to! I also really enjoyed the fighting scenes, but there were times when quick cuts were used so often that I think it took away from the neat choreography. Once again, I want to see how cool the sword fighting is!
Outcast is a fun albeit slightly flawed movie that I would definitely watch with my friends on a Friday night. It will take you on an adventure to another place and you get to see Nicolas Cage doing his eccentric thing. Once again, it’s pretty much a win.
Outcast is the directorial debut of stunt coordinator Nick Powell and was written by James Dormer, writer for shows such as The Musketeers and MI-5. Click here to see where Outcast is playing near you.