Outcast (2014 film)

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Outcast poster.jpg
Chinese theatrical release poster
Directed byNick Powell
Produced by
Written byJames Dormer
Music byGuillaume Roussel
CinematographyJoel Ransom
Edited by
  • Olivier Gourlay
  • Nicolas Trembasiewicz
  • Canal+
  • Media Max Productions
  • Notorious Films
  • 22h22
Distributed by
Release date
  • September 22, 2014 (2014-09-22) (Beijing premiere)
  • February 6, 2015 (2015-02-06) (United States)
  • April 3, 2015 (2015-04-03) (China)
Running time
99 minutes[1]
  • United States
  • China
  • Canada
Budget$25 million
Box office$4.8 million[2]

Outcast is a 2014 American-Chinese-Canadian[3][4] action film, directed by Nick Powell in his directorial debut and written by James Dormer.[5] It stars Nicolas Cage, Hayden Christensen, Liu Yifei, Ji Ke Jun Yi, and Andy On.

The film was slated for release on September 26, 2014 in China, but was postponed to April 3, 2015.[6][7][4][8] The film received negative reviews from critics.[9]


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.



In 2013, the film was officially announced on the Arclight films website.


Principal photography started in April 2014 in the Yunnan province of China.



In July, the official poster was released on the Arclight films website and Hayden Christensen Fan site.

Box office[edit]

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.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

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.[10] On Metacritic, the film has a 33 out of 100 rating based on 7 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[11] 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.[12] 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".[13] 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”."[14]


On April 15, 2014, producer Jeremy Bolt announced plans for a sequel.[15]


  1. ^ "OUTCAST (15)". British Board of Film Classification. October 19, 2015. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Outcast (2014)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. October 12, 2015. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
  3. ^ "What's Key to Better China-US Film Co-production". China Radio International. 2014-06-18. Retrieved 2014-07-03.
  4. ^ a b "Outcast pulled from China screens". Film Business Asia. 2014-09-26. Retrieved 2014-09-26.
  5. ^ "Nicolas Cage, Hayden Christensen to Begin 'Outcast' Chinese Shoot in April". hollywoodreporter.com. 17 November 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  6. ^ 《白幽灵传奇之绝命逃亡》定档4月3日 去年9月26日曾在影院上演“一日游”. mtime.com (in Chinese). 2015-03-06. Retrieved 2015-03-09.
  7. ^ 《绝命逃亡》或明年1月16日公映 影院播放预告 改名《白幽灵传奇之绝命逃亡》. mtime.com (in Chinese). 2014-12-04. Retrieved 2014-12-08.
  8. ^ 《绝命逃亡》定档9月26日 刘亦菲花裙造型甜美 凯奇将来华宣传. mtime.com (in Chinese). 2014-06-16. Retrieved 2014-07-03.
  9. ^ http://news.abs-cbn.com/lifestyle/06/05/15/review-bland-acting-overacting-outcast
  10. ^ "Outcast (2015)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
  11. ^ "Outcast Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
  12. ^ Catsoulis, Jeannette (5 February 2015). "An Heir Finds Trouble on His Way to the Throne". NY Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  13. ^ Goldstein, Gary (5 February 2016). "Review 'Outcast' goes medieval with Nicolas Cage as one-eyed outlaw". LA Times. Archived from the original on 6 January 2018. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  14. ^ Kahn, Sebastian Zavala (3 October 2018). "Review: OUTCAST (2015), a lifeless and confusing action "epic"". Screen Anarchy. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  15. ^ 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.

External links[edit]