Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Outland (1981)

Outland is western in future and space. Outland follows formula of western little bit too closely. What starts as interesting science fiction mystery ends up standard western in space. Mining colony in Jupiter's moon Io and support ships are remote small town and rail road running through it. Sean Connery's federal marshall is lonely sheriff of westerns. Ending is from westerns. It felt bit too much to be there because movie followed the formula. It is not a big issue in otherwise great movie.

Sean Connery's federal marshal comes to mining colony on Jupiter's moon Io. His assignment is for a year. His wife has had enough for his remote assignments. His wife leaves Io with their son soon after they arrive. Sean Connery stays on Io solving mysterious suicides. He is expected to look other way but this time he wants to make a difference. Mining colony of Io is place for people who couldn't make it elsewhere. Sean Connery is there because his superiors didn't like his attitude. After his wife left him he wanted to show everyone he is not wasting his life on these remote mining colonies.

Movie aims for realism. Everything looks and feel realistic. Even time it takes to travel from one place to another is realistic. Everyone looks like they have no change than be on remote mining colony. Actors are chosen because of their skills and because they fit the part. Today this would only have young and beautiful actors and full of cgi action. Outland shows realistic science fiction can be interesting.

Outland has same feeling as two years older and much more popular Alien. Instead of horror it is western. Both have dirty, gritty and realistic feel of future. Outland has more social commentary. It is not as visually stunning as Alien but I think it deserves its place as part science fiction greats along with Alien. It is not only for science fictions fans. It is worth checking for anyone liking good movies. It is must watch for any science fiction fans.

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