Film Review – The Outpost (2019)

Title – The Outpost (2019)

Director – Rod Lurie (The Last Castle)

Cast – Scott Eastwood, Orlando Bloom, Caleb Landry Jones, Milo Gibson

Plot – The true story of a group of American soldiers who had to defend their small Afghanistan based outpost against a swarm of Taliban fighters.

“Respect keeps us safe”

Review by Eddie on 14/09/2020

Directed by journeyman filmmaker Rod Lurie, who has made a career out of delivering solid if unremarkable pictures with big stars attached, The Outpost would’ve likely came and disappeared rather quickly had it been business as usual for Hollywood in 2020 but due to circumstances the audience for this based on true events war film has opened up substantially.

Becoming a massive VOD hit in America over the Memorial Day long weekend, The Outpost, which takes place in the dust-plagued surrounds of Afghanistan during the heat of the Middle Eastern war of the mid 2000’s, is the type of American war film we’ve all seen countless times before, filled with some recognizable faces and characters we won’t remember the names of once we hit the stop button, but that doesn’t stop this well-made mid-budget effort from being an entertaining watch.

Loaded with a whose who of mid-level Hollywood talent, with the likes of Scott Eastwood, Orlando Bloom and character actors such as Caleb Landry Jones all getting time in the spotlight, Laurie spends a significant amount of time investing the audience into the everyday mundane nature of a collection of American soldiers who find themselves guarding a seemingly indefensible outpost in the heart of enemy territory, in what appears to be a modern day Alamo waiting to happen.

Those seeking bullets and gung-ho action from the get-go will be disappointed, with Laurie in no rush to get to the main event but once the bullets start to fly (along with a hearty dosage of expletives), The Outpost delivers the frenetic action goods that will keep fans of films like Black Hawk Down and Lone Survivor well and truly appeased.

A long set piece that goes for well over 40 minutes, the siege of the films titular location is an impressive feat of in your face movie-making with Laurie and his DOP Lorenzo Senatore utilizing a Saving Private Ryan like technique of intense handhelds and innovative drone shots to throw the audience into the thick of the action.

We might not know at all times who is being shot at or what they’re trying to do, but much like a real battle, the chaos and carnage makes for devastating yet heart pounding viewing, making The Outpost feel like a step up from other straight to home release affairs of this nature.

Final Say – 

Not attempting to break any new ground in the genre and filled with a bunch of characters that are the very definition of caricatures, The Outpost isn’t grand movie-making but its a solid actioner that’s main set-piece is a sight to behold.

3 photographs out of 5 

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