For those of you who don’t know the film Outland was made in 1981 starring Sean Connery. It is a thriller set in a mining colony on Jupiter’s moon Io in which Connery is a federal marshal investigating a series of gruesome deaths. It has been largely forgotten for years, so when I learned that a local film group was screening it I got very excited since I had never seen it in an actual theatre before.
What is so great about this film? The social commentary. In fact I would say that this film was way ahead of its time, and that is probably the main reason why it has been largely forgotten. Back in the 80’s people under the thrall of Reagan and Thatcher thought that corporations could do no wrong, that they were trusted to do what was right because why would a corporation want to hurt people? Leap forward 40 years and a lot of people now realize that corporations don’t give a crap about them; it’s all a profit driven con to separate people from their money no matter the true cost of that profit.
I honestly think this is Sean Connery’s best role because he is playing an actual man, not some sort of spy superhero. The character has to figure out what they want and need to do to take care of the situation at hand and he really emotes that struggle in such a way that makes you care about him, whether you agree with his actions or not.
Another thing that makes this film special is the fact that a lot of the crew who worked on it also had a hand in making Alien. Because of that it has the same kind of feel; a dirty dystopian future in which people have to work in dangerous situations in order to survive. The future isn’t perfect, rather it is imperfect just like now.
I very highly recommend watching this. If you like dystopian, sci-fi or 80’s thriller films this movie will be right up your alley!