Starring: Nicolas Cage, Hayden Christensen, Alexandre Bailly
Genre: Action/ Cage-Rage
Former Templar Knights Jacob (Christensen) and Gallain (Cage) lead separate lives in the shadows still haunted by their past experiences in the crusades. Fate however means their paths cross once more, and they get one last chance at redemption when they have the chance to help a fugitive prince and princess to claim their rightful place on the throne from their cruel and violent brother who seized the throne by murdering their father.
Many things have been said about Nicolas Cage, but yet I still feel compelled to watch every film he is in for one, if not all, of the following reasons:
- To see if he can surpass expectations to actually be in a good film (such as Joe),
- To see just how bad the film is and how equally how low has career has nosedived
- Just laugh at a hideously over the top, but equally hilarious Cage-Rage performance.
Well, let’s face it; the poster and the fact it has straight to DVD status is enough to tell most people to not be daft enough to even bother watching Outcast, even though the DVD in the UK is inside a cardboard sleeve with a nice shiny cover! Well, I am loyal to Nicolas and was going to give Outcast a chance, and the film is predictably abysmal, but has to be seen for Cage’s performance which proves once and for all that he has given up.
The plot itself is very bog standard for the genre, but while the Clive Owen starring Last Knights was a genre-by-numbers film it was at least well enough made to be entertaining, but Outcast is just embarrassingly bad. The script is laughable and ‘action’ sequences even more so.
If this were not Nicolas Cage then his role would be the ‘and’ role in the credits as he is not actually in it much at all. Instead the duty of being the main character falls to Hayden Christensen, and as stoic as his performance is, there is no getting away from the fact he is an actor with no charisma or screen presence whatsoever. Even the greatest script ever written would not be able to make his character interesting as it is like watching a plank of wood.
So instead of Cage we get Christensen wandering from set piece to piece trying to be a tortured, but skilful knight and failing miserably, which I do not believe is anyone’s idea of entertainment. Sadly this does indeed prove to be as dull as it sounds.
So after the film’s opening sequence which is supposed to provide ‘character development’ (spoiler: it doesn’t!) we have to wait a good hour for Cage to turn up, and he certainly makes quite an entrance when turning up! With a bizarre hair style, only one eye, a bizarre and very angry (sort of) English accent and a live snake wrapped around each arm (no, me neither), his performance does have to be seen to be believed!
Unfortunately Cage’s outrageous performance cannot save Outcast and put it into the ‘so-bad-its-good’ category, because as much as this has to go down as one of his most bizarre performances yet, there is not enough of it. If it were him for 90 minutes then this could have been one of the unintentional comedies of the year, but any film that asks us to spend the best part of an hour in the sole company of Hayden Christensen is asking a lot of the most tolerant of people.
We of course get the inevitable arguments from Cage and Christensen’s characters, and their very different ‘acting’ styles make for unintentionally entertaining viewing. We then of course get the inevitable fight scene at the end, but one done on the cheap, and unsurprisingly it isn’t done particularly well, and what happens is extremely predictable. Outcast takes a generic story for this kind of genre, and this can produce great films, but it also can produce horrendous ones like this one, and not even a more bizarre than usual injection of Cage-Rage is going to save it.
Outcast marks a new low for Nicolas Cage both in terms of his performance and the quality of the film he is in; though Cage’s performance has to be seen to be believed, it cannot stop Outcast from being a truly abysmal and dull film that all involved should be deeply ashamed of.