Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Truth Is Out There

I have no desire to see a remake of Outland. It's not because I'm a huge fan of the 1981 original starring Sean Connery. It's the opposite. I think Outland is a stupid movie. It's basically a remake of High Noon and answers the question, "What would that Gary Cooper classic be like if it bore no resemblance to reality and everyone in it was an idiot?" The movie was set on a mining facility on one of Jupiter's moons. The miners were being given some sort of drug that was making them walk out of their headquarters and into the vacuum of the actual moon without a space suit. Eventually lawman Sean Connery shows up and ends up having a climactic shootout with the drug dealers even though he failed to get even a single one of the miners to help him.

Gary Cooper had the added dilemma of having to choose between a pacifist wife and his duty to the townspeople, a duty he still felt existed even though they had abandoned him. The folks behind Outland knew that character developments just get in the way so they didn't give Connery that problem. He showed up, swung his Scottish dick around for a while and had a shootout. No muss, no fuss. The people Cooper was protecting were salt of the earth townsfolk; farmers, bankers, shopclerks and such. It was understandable why they'd be afraid to face down armed tough guys like Frank Miller even if that meant leaving their friend to face down an armed gang alone. Connery, on the other hand, was among a group of tough guy miners far from civilization. It wasn't logical that each and every one of them would be wetting their pants at the idea of facing down the bastards who were responsible for the deaths of some of their fellow miners. Still, that's what happened. You also had one memorable scene of Sean Connery wanting to test the blood of one of the victims. Despite being dead for a couple of weeks, the blood flows out of the corpse in red liquid form the second Connery starts pulling back on the syringe.

I'm saying Outland was a stupid movie, a lame attempt to rip off a classic under the guise of science fiction. It was made by people who had zero respect for classic cinema and the genre of science fiction or, for that matter, logic or coherent storytelling.

As for the idea of a remake? Oh hell, go ahead and make it. I was about to write, "It couldn't be any worse," but then realized that God yes, it could be a metric crapload worse. It could be a Rob Schneider comedy or have Michael Bay as its director (Transformers Michael Bay, not The Island Michael Bay, a movie that was fairly decent). The main characters could be a teenage girl and a vampire. The lawman's partner could be a precocious kid. It could be worse. But you may as well do it. It couldn't be wor...damn it!


Michael Clear said...

This was supposed to be just a few sentences long part of a Look At My Briefs post but then I started getting into why "Outland" sucked and now it's a post unto itself. This has been an inside look at that mysterious thing we call the Creative Process. Hope it was helpful.

FM said...

The Island is only decent largely because it, much like the Outland movie you describe, is largely just a ripoff of a movie called Parts: The Clonus Horror, or Clonus. You may already know the story but if you don't, it's worth a Google.

It says a lot that one of the man's best movies isn't even really his in the first place.