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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner7/03/2007

Two out of Five stars

Nick Love's vigilante thriller has a potentially interesting premise and some good performances, but it quickly falls apart thanks to its confusing script and some poor camera work.

What's it all about?
Danny Dyer stars as Dekker, a young man who is feeling let down by the police following a violent attack in front of his fiancee (Olivia Lumley). After receiving a mysterious message, he meets up with former soldier Bryant (Sean Bean) and is introduced to two similar victims: Munroe (Lennie James), a lawyer, whose family were attacked because he was prosecuting a gangster and Sandy (Rupert Friend), the victim of a headline-grabbing homophobic attack.

With the aid of unhinged security nut Hillier (Sean Harris) and supported by a disgruntled ex-cop (Bob Hoskins), Bryant forms the men into a vigilante squad and they begin settling a few scores. Their actions strike a chord with the public and turn them into outlaws but Hillier's increasingly unhinged viciousness becomes something of a liability.

The Good
That said, the performances are pretty good, particularly Bean (whose impassioned speeches about the state of Britain today are almost convincing), Harris (ferrety psychos a specialty) and James. However, Dyer is strangely subdued, which is a shame, because the film could have used a few of his usual one-liners.

The Bad
Outlaws has a decent premise, but the overall result is mixed, to say the least. For one thing, it's frequently confusing. Entire scenes seem to be missing (the connections between the characters are unclear) and the film ultimately doesn't seem to know what it actually wants to say.

Love also indulges in some tricksy camerawork which backfires spectacularly, particularly during an early scene. The effect is meant to be disorientating but it works too well and ends up giving you a severe case of motion sickness instead.

Worth seeing?
This isn't as exciting, clever or relevant as it thinks it is and its talented cast are let down by a confusing script.

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Content updated: 16/09/2019 15:03

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