'The Outsider': New-guy Brit cracks heads old-school

No need to ask to whom the title of The Outsider refers. Craig Fairbrass' hulking Lex character not only speaks with a Cockney accent, but he's the only guy in L.A. without a car. He walks, takes a cab, or, if he's in a really big hurry, hijacks a car. Usually, he's in a big hurry.

See, he was minding his own business, working as a military contractor in Afghanistan, when he was called to claim the body of his daughter who had died violently in California. Now he hasn't seen her in, like, five wars, but he knows there's something fishy about the situation.

Somehow this premise turns into a convoluted heist movie. (The plot is so flimsy that it must be fiercely guarded.) Just know, then, that when the big caper finally arrives, you will neither grasp nor care about what's going on.

A feisty James Caan plays the shady corporate heavy. Jason Patric (Rush) plays the LAPD detective who runs around town, following in Fairbrass' wake of destruction. Shannon Elizabeth (American Pie) is a scenester who helps the bruising Brit. (She's also got a car, which comes in handy.)

Fairbrass will knock the wind out of you. Forget the acrobatic brand of violence you see in today's action films, where a single blow will cleanly dispatch an opponent. Fairbrass favors the old rough-and-tumble, four- and five-punch combinations. He uses his fists to pulverize his foes.

Or maybe he's just taking out his frustrations. Because The Outsider is thin, trite, and lacking in forward propulsion. Casting Craig Fairbrass is a good idea. But you don't want to make him mad.


The Outsider *  (out of four stars)

Directed by Brian A. Miller. With Craig Fairbrass, James Caan, Jason Patric, and Shannon Elizabeth. Distributed by RLJ Entertainment.

Running time: 1 hour, 34 mins.

Parent's guide: No MPAA rating (violence, profanity, adult themes)

Showing at: AMC Loews Cherry Hill 24


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The Outsider

Directed by Brian A. Miller. With Craig Fairbrass, Shannon Elizabeth, Jason Patric, James Caan. Distributed by RLJ Entertainment/Image Entertainment.

Running time: 1 hours, 34 minutes.

Parent's guide: Unrated ().