In the 12th century during the Crusades in the Middle East, Jacob and Gallain were knights whose purpose was to claim the holy lands in the name of Christianity. After a great battle, the knights lost their way. With their faith questioned and the Crusades at an end, they ended up fleeing to China. Jacob became a junkie and Gallain became a bandit.
Fast forward three years later, the emperor is dying and his last wish is to make Zhao the heir of the kingdom. Zhao and his sister Lian flee the kingdom after their older brother Shing murders their father. On the run, Lian and Zhao wind up in the company of Jacob and Gallain and the ex-crusaders want to return the prince back to his throne and make things right.
OUTCAST stars Hayden Christensen and Nicolas Cage who have both been out of the spotlight for a while. Christensen was on a three-year hiatus while Cage has been making movies, but they’ve been a bit B-list. This film is definitely in the realm of being a B-list movie as far as promoting, but the costumes, set locations, and cinematography do not give that feel at all. The movie rides the border of being epic, but never tackles the grandness.
The acting makes some of the character interactions feel hokey at times; like the characters’ emotional connections are forced. Hayden Christensen’s acting is a little different from the character he played in STAR WARS. He tries to be a tough, emotionless warrior, but it is hard to accept because he doesn’t have a commanding presence like the role calls for.
Nic Cage is a slightly different story. He has been type-cast in period films like this for some time now. In this movie, he is a weird hermit as well as a bandit. His acting feels “phoned-in” as they say. He is very far from the old days of Caster Troy and Stanley Goodspeed.
This film seemed like it was going to be a bit more about the Holy Crusades than what was happening in Asia in the 12th century. However, the title is OUTCAST, so I should’ve figured that it was more focused on where these estranged soldiers ended up after the Crusades ended. I was hoping for a little more from the movie, but I know that Nic Cage fans will enjoy it.
The transfer for OUTCAST is a 1080p AVC from what I assume is a digital source. The blacks are deep and create nice contrasting throughout the movie. There are sharp details and minimal crushing that can be seen. The colors are mostly off-whites and darker shades of cobalt with maroon. When there are brighter colors, they pop on screen. These are mostly greens and the golden sunrise/sunsets. The skin tones are on the cooler side with Cage and Christensen in particular looking incredibly pale. Overall, the picture looks great on Blu-ray.
The movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix is excellent. It makes great use of the sound field with the arrows whizzing from side-to-side and across the sound field. The clanging blades during the sword fights ring loudly to show the amount of force. The dialogue is nice and clear, staying mostly in the front of the home theater with some voices in the rear speakers from time to time. The bass does not get a heavy workout aside from the explosions from the “final stand” towards the end of the movie. These effects are heavy and bring depth to the audio. Also, the score is clear, making nice use of the treble.
-Making of OUTCAST: This featurette explores the film from bringing the story to screen after a decade in development. Both the cast and crew are interviewed for this extra.
-Interviews with the cast and crew: These in-depth interviews are with two actors and the director. They are fielding different questions for the bonus feature.
1 Blu-ray Disc
1080p AVC MPEG-4
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
English Dolby Digital 5.1
OUTCAST is one of those movies that not everyone is going to love. The plot is very true to the source material as far as how brutal not only the Holy Crusades were, but also how torn China was during that time period. The Blu-ray itself has been done well with great picture and sound. I would say that for the fans of Nic Cage and Hayden Christensen, this is a no-brainer. Either way, give this movie a rent.