Outcast (2014 film)
Chinese theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Nick Powell|
|Written by||James Dormer|
|Music by||Guillaume Roussel|
|Box office||$4.8 million|
Outcast is a 2014 American-Chinese-Canadian action film, directed by Nick Powell in his directorial debut and written by James Dormer. It stars Nicolas Cage, Hayden Christensen, Liu Yifei, Ji Ke Jun Yi, and Andy On.
In dynastic China, a dying king chooses his young son, Prince Zhao to be his successor, giving him the imperial seal and sending him away in the care of his older sister, Princess Lian. Shortly thereafter, their sadistic older brother, Prince Shing, murders the King in a fit of rage after having been passed over as heir. Shing assumes command of the Emperor's Black Guard, ordering the deaths of his siblings in order to obtain the seal and the legitimacy of the throne.
Zhao and Lian only travel a short time before they are apprehended, but then saved by Jacob, a disillusioned and opioid-addicted crusader who, initially war-weary, is reluctant to become involved in the conflict. Though upon remembering the deaths of women and children in one of his last battles, he relents, escorting them to the find the generals and win the support of the military. Traveling through a village destroyed by the Black Guard, they rescue a girl, Xiaolei. They attempt to take refuge in the desert city Jingshao. They are betrayed by their hosts, who summon the Black Guard, hoping to win the price on their heads. This forces them to fight their way out.
Retreating to the mountains, they are saved by Gallain, a former commrade of Jacob's, who also became disillusioned with war and is now a bandit leader known in China as The White Ghost. At the hideout, Jacob is healed of his wounds and the two reconcile from the things they did during the crusades. Gallain and his bandits are tracked by Shing and his Black Guard, who then attack the hideout. In the ensuing battle, Gallain and his bandits kill a large number of guards but he is ultimately killed when Shing arrives. Jacob fights Shing but is gravely wounded, at which time Lian intervenes and tries to kill Shing. However he stabs her instead. Jacob, in a rage, overwhelms and kills Shing. Captain Peng, who had witnessed Shing's treachery, pledges the allegiance of the rest of the Black Guard to Zhao.
Jacob and Lian survive their injuries and they, Zhao and Xiaolei are escorted by the Black Guard to the city, where they Zhao is recognized as the new Emperor. When Lian looks back, she discovers that Jacob has snuck away, having left his sword on a grave next to where Gallain was buried before departing out into the unknown.
- Hayden Christensen as Jacob
- Nicolas Cage as Gallain
- Liu Yifei as Lian
- Ji Ke Jun Yi as Mei
- Andy On as Shing
- Anoja Dias Bolt as Anika
- Byron Lawson as Captain Peng
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In 2013, the film was officially announced on the Arclight films website.
In July, the official poster was released on the Arclight films website and Hayden Christensen Fan site.
The film did not receive a theatrical release in the United States, but earned $3,860,000 in China and $979,761 in other territories for a worldwide total of $4,839,761.
Outcast received unfavorable reviews from most critics. Rotten Tomatoes reports that 5% of 18 reviews were positive, with an average rating of 3.3/10. On Metacritic, the film has a 33 out of 100 rating based on 7 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Glenn Kenny of RogerEbert.com centered his review on the performances, primarily that of Nicolas Cage. Of it, he said it marked a career shift from Cage's "entertainingly eccentric phase" into his "genuinely befuddling and perhaps sad phase", and noted his "peculiar (of course)", "near-British accent"; he also criticized Hayden Christensen's performance as "lifeless". Jeanette Catsoulis of The New York Times called the movie a "loony", "wannabe epic rattling with swords and clichés". She chiefly criticized the "barnacle-encrusted plot" as being "dumbed down to the studs", along with the performance of Christensen, while praising photography and "surprisingly classy" battle scenes. Gary Goldstein of the Los Angeles Times had kinder words to say, calling the movie "visually arresting, smartly paced, well-edited", but otherwise "unremarkable". He said the film may best be remembered for Cage's "warrior coif", saying it was "perhaps his most unflattering movie hairdo yet — and that's saying a lot" and that Cage could "pinch-hit for Gene Simmons at a KISS concert". And Sebastian Zavala, writing for ScreenAnarchy.com, said that the movie "could certainly have been a better vehicle for an unleashed, energetic Cage", but that "what we end up with is a lifeless, slightly-entertaining-yet-ultimately-disappointing action “epic”."
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- Kahn, Sebastian Zavala (3 October 2018). "Review: OUTCAST (2015), a lifeless and confusing action "epic"". Screen Anarchy. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
- Frater, Patrick (16 April 2014). "Nicolas Cage's China-Set 'Outcast' Gets Plans for a Sequel". Variety.com. Penske Business Media, LLC. Retrieved 17 April 2014.