Outland is a western set in outer space. The only thing it has going for it is Sean Connery's presence as O'Neil, a "sheriff" on a remote space station mining facility who has just accepted the assignment of making it a safe and habitable place for everyone.

Right from the beginning, we know things aren't going well for O'Neil when he hears a message from his wife saying she has left him for accepting the job. We also know O'Neil is in trouble when Sheppard (Peter Boyle) and O'Neil lock jaws with regards to enforcement policies. Sheppard wants O'Neil to overlook the small detail that his mine workers are being given drugs so they can perform (their mining duties) more efficiently (so what's the big deal if a side effect causes them to go nuts and go on a killing spree). But the cliche is that none of the space station inhabitants want to help him and O'Neil has to clean up the town by himself.

The movie is okay. The script is so horrible that it's amusing (it contains a classic Sean Connery line: "I have to go now"). The Alien-influenced effects are pretty good, considering that the film was made in 1981, as is the attention to detail paid by Director Peter Hyams. Sean Connery is charming and convincing as the lone stranger cleaning out the bad guys. Outland is worth renting if there are few other options.

Movie ram-blings || Ram Samudrala || me@ram.org