REVIEW: OUTLANDER (2008)

CAST

Jim Caviezel (The Passion of The Christ)
Sophia Myles (Underworld)
Jack Huston (Shrooms)
John Hurt (Alien)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Aidan Devine (Don’t Say A Word)

A spacecraft crashes in a lake in Vendel-era Scandinavia. The only surviving occupant – a human – retrieves a distress beacon and a computer which explains that he is on Earth, a “seed” colony that his people have abandoned. The computer downloads the local Norse language and culture directly into his brain. The spaceman soon finds a freshly destroyed village, where he is captured by Wulfric, a warrior from another village.  ulfric takes him to the fortified village of King Rothgar, father of Freya, who he hopes will marry future king Wulfric. Rothgar is concerned that Gunnar, chieftain of the destroyed village, will assume it was Wulfric’s doing, as Wulfric’s father (the king before Rothgar) had been killed by Gunnar. Wulfric interrogates the “outlander”, who identifies himself as Kainan, claiming he is from the north, and states that he is hunting a dragon.The village is attacked that night by an unseen creature, which kills several men. Kainan tells them it is a “Moorwen”, a predatory creature which caused his (space)ship to crash and now will hunt men and animals alike. When Kainan is taken with a hunting party to find the Moorwen, he kills a gigantic bear that had killed some of the hunters. The warriors now treat Kainan as part of their tribe. Gunnar and his men attack the settlement, retreating after casualties on both sides. They soon return, pursued by the Moorwen, and enter the safety of the village. Kainan devises a plan to build a huge pit just inside the village entrance, fill it with whale oil and leave wooden shields floating on the surface.Freya becomes increasingly attracted to Kainan. He explains to her the Moorwen’s origin—Kainan’s people invaded its land (planet), slaughtered it in the billions and built a colony there. This Moorwen, now the last of its kind, massacred everyone in the colony, including Kainan’s wife and child. When his “ship” returned to the colony, the Moorwen snuck onboard and later caused the crash. After listening to Kainan’s tale, Freya gives him a family sword, saying she was told that she would know what man to give it to. Kainan and Wulfric lure the Moorwen to the village. They cross the oil pit by running on the shields, but the Moorwen falls into the pit, and the oil is set on fire. The Moorwen bursts out, kills several people, then escapes. Meanwhile, an offspring of the Moorwen sneaks into the hall where the women and children are hiding. Eric, the orphaned boy that Kainan has begun looking after, alerts Rothgar, who is killed as the women and children escape.Kainan realizes that they need stronger weapons to kill the Moorwen. Kainan, (new) King Wulfric and Freya return to the lake to retrieve fragments of metal from Kainan’s submerged ship. While Kainan is underwater, the young Moorwen attacks the boat, taking Freya. Kainan and Wulfric return to the village, where the fragments are soon forged into weapons before descending into the Moorwens’ lair. Freya awakens on a pile of bodies in the underground lair. As the young Moorwen moves toward Freya, it is distracted by the sound of Kainan’s hunting party. Many of the hunters are killed, but the young Moorwen is blinded by Boromir. When it returns to attack Freya, Kainan and Wulfric pass one of the new swords, with which she slays the young Moorwen. The cave exits to a high waterfall, where the adult Moorwen attacks. It seriously wounds Wulfric before Kainan engages it in battle. When Freya joins in, Kainan is able to knock the Moorwen over the cliff’s edge to its death. Freya and Kainan return to Wulfric’s side, where he passes the kingship to Kainan just before he dies.Kainan tells Freya to wait for the rest of the warriors, while he heads back to the lake. Night falls as Kainan retrieves some items from his ship, says goodbye to his wife’s submerged coffin, then destroys his distress beacon just as Freya sees a rescue spaceship approaching, leading her to believe that Kainan was sent by the gods. The rescue ship departs without Kainan, who stays as king, weds Freya and they adopt Eric.Despite a few flaws & somewhat predictable nature, it’s Sci-Fi/Medieval fusion works surprisingly well. The Independent film production budget managed to deliver solid action, good acting, great special effects/costumes & a story that leaves you entertained.

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