Despite Nicolas Cage’s questionable accent and the familiarity of the plot, Outcast manages to be an entertaining film for fans of the action adventure genre.
The film has decent battle sequences and a pace fast enough for the audience not to notice some of its shortcomings. It also has some comical moments thanks to Cage’s gonzo performance as “The White Ghost.”
Directed by Nick Powell from a screenplay by James Dormer, Outcast sees Cage joined by Hayden Christensen, Andy On, Yifei Liu, Fernando Chien and Anoja Dias Bolt.
The film kicks off during the Crusades of the 12th Century where the audience is introduced to knights Jacob (Christensen) and Gallain (Cage) as they raid a palace. The carnage of the attack causes a rift between the two men and they both leave the Crusades for the East and a new life.
The film then jumps three years as a dying Chinese emperor passes his seal and throne to his younger son – who is forced to flee with his sister to avoid being killed by their older brother. The two run into an opium-addicted Jacob, who reluctantly agrees to help them for a bag of gold. The three set off on a journey across the country as an army of soldiers hunt them. Luckily, Jacob finds Gallain, who now goes as The White Ghost, in time for an epic showdown.
Outcast is thin on plot, and the story is very familiar. The action sequences keep the film entertaining, but it does drag when the action slows up. Powell, who had a career as a stuntman, makes the most of the action and fills the film with some great sword fights. The opening sequence does an excellent job of getting the audience into the film, and I couldn’t help but wish we could have just stayed with the Crusades. Once in China, the action sequences continue to impress, but lose some intensity.
Thanks to his odd accent, Outcast also gets comical when Cage attempts to discuss the horrors of the Crusades with a somewhat whiny Christensen. The scenes are meant to add some depth to the characters, but come across as funny thanks to Cage’s performance. Cage seems to be having a blast playing the character – who walks around drunk with snakes wrapped on his hands. He is attempting to give the character a haunted appearance, but comes across as a poor man’s Jack Sparrow.
On Blu-ray, the film looks and sounds solid. It comes with some decent special features – including interviews with the cast and crew and a “making of” that shows how they brought the film to the screen.
Outcast doesn’t break any new ground in the action genre, but manages to entertain. The film opens with a great action sequence and manages to keep the action steady until the end credits roll. It isn’t Cage’s best performance, but the talented actor makes it an entertaining one.