Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 or region free DVD player in order to play In Lawless streets the guilty are left unhindered to go about their business Returning from a tour of duty in Iraq former Paratrooper Bryant (Sean Bean) is appalled by what he sees in a country he no longer recognises Determined to do something about it he assembles a group of like minded souls who resolve to restore the balance between right and wrong good and evil enforcing justice with a brutality to match that of the once unpunished wrongdoers But who decided when enough is enough? Actors Sean Bean Danny Dyer Lennie James Rupert Friend Sean Harris & Bob Hoskins Director Nick Love Certificate 18 years and over Year 2007 Languages English - Dolby Digital (51)
Action starring Sean Bean. After returning from a tour of duty in Iraq, former Paratrooper Bryant (Bean) is appalled by what he sees in a country he no longer recognises. Determined to do something about it, he assembles a group of like-minded souls who resolve to restore the balance between right and wrong, good and evil, enforcing justice with a brutality to match that of the once unpunished wrongdoers.
Average Rating for Outlaw  - 3 out of 5
(based on 1 user reviews)
Outlaw Kashif Ahmed
Having only seen his debut film 'Goodbye Charley Bright' (2001) I wasn't too familiar with the work of cult writer/director Nick Love, and looking back at his CV it comes as no surprise why: 'The Football Factory' (violent Brit film about cockney wideboys starring Danny Dyer) & 'The Business' (violent Brit film about cockney wideboys in Spain starring Danny Dyer) appear to have been aimed at the same demographic, or at least presented Londoner Love as a poor man's Guy Ritchie. 'Outlaw', Love's most ambitious project to date, seems to be aiming a lot higher and focuses on a group of victims-turned-vigilantes; ordinary people who strike back against yob culture/ widespread degeneracy in an England gone to the dogs. A country ruined by government crypto-fascism through the systematic decimation of justice, decency, law & order, a nation crippled by institutional racism, paedophilia & deep rooted police corruption coupled with a general feeling of hopelessness / bitter disillusion amongst the masses. Wrongly marketed as an action movie, 'Outlaw' is a fast paced, well constructed character study with a violent morality tale coming to the fore in the last half hour: I liked the way Love focused on the plight of each character before their encounter with court-marshalled soldier Bryant (an excellent Sean Bean) accurately portraying the struggles of individuals who, with the exception of one, are decent people failed by the system, aimlessly wading through a miasma of filth & inequity: The soldier sent to Iraq on a lie (Sean Bean), the professional persecuted for his integrity (Lennie James), the student hospitalised in an unprovoked attack (Rupert Friend), the straight cop overlooked for promotion (Bob Hoskins), the office worker beaten to a pulp for trying to reason with thugs (Danny Dyer); all incidents and events anyone can recognise, though the script should've gone further by explaining the defining moments in Bryant's tour of duty. Love's depiction of 21st century Britain as a washed up world power with delusions of grandeur is anything but reactionary or paranoid, granted, there is a fair bit of rabble rousing and Sean Bean's ex-Squaddie calls Tony B.Liar a c***, which, though an accurate description of our former PM, doesn't quite ascend to the heights of Bird & Fortune-esque eloquence, but as for an almost unanimous critical mauling? Personally, I don't know what they were watching, and maybe it was a case of low expectations yielding high rewards, but I found 'Outlaw' to be a highly enjoyable and well-acted film, commendably realistic in its depiction of violence (i.e. quick, lumbering and brutal) and armed with a robust denunciation of racist, unenlightened imbecility; epitomised by the fate of wannabe Machiavellian security guard / psychopath Simon Hillier (Sean Harris, last seen in 'Creep') whose inane attempts at social commentary are met with mocking/ pitying laughter from the other outlaws "...You're such a philistine sometimes Hillier" remarks Bryant, "No I'm British, 100% me" he replies.
'Outlaw' makes a number of salient points and there are plenty of good ideas / themes at work here, some of which don't come across as clearly as they should and occasionally betray Love's naivety, yet the way in which he plays out the ritual humiliations and burgeoning sense of injustice is masterly. Building up the frustration for a bitter, violent denouement, good cinematography, coverage shots and score also serve to complement the stylish shootout finale. Great acting by all involved, Lennie James and Sean Bean in particular. I'm glad Sean finally got a lead role he could sink his teeth into, for he's one of the most underrated actors of his generation and though I've never seen an episode of 'Sharpe', his film work, even in small roles like the ones he had in 'Ronin' and 'Equilibrium' add real gravitas to the proceedings, and often stand out as some of the film's best moments. Sean Bean's work in 'Goldeneye', spot-on portrayal of Odysseus in 'Troy' and profound, often misinterpreted, performance as Borimer in 'Lord Of The Rings' mark him out as one of our best actors, comfortable and believable in films of varying budgets in a variety of genres. Sean's on top of his game here, and manages to create an intense atmosphere of dread & excitement when he informs his comrades they're about to fight a gang of pub racists outside. Powerful stuff. Loquacious geezer Danny Dyer ('Human Traffic') has put in some memorable, albeit very similar, performances over the years in films like 'The Ecstasy Of Robert Carmichael', 'Severance' and 'Straightheads' here Danny plays against type; giving a surprisingly restrained and believable performance as a would-be-groom / put upon office clerk, also keep an eye out for Kiera Knightly look-alike Sally Bretton who plays his fiancé.
'Outlaw' deals with each man's personal journey towards some kind of redemption and their genuine, shared desire to empower mild mannered barrister Lennie James in accelerating his vengeance upon those who murdered his wife and unborn child. At its heart, it's a film that celebrates camaraderie in a manner not seen on screen since 'Fight Club' (1999), and whilst Fincher's movie had a better script and served to satirise the inevitable collapse of ridged ideology, 'Outlaw' is, strangely enough, a film that borders on socialist propaganda and extols the virtues of rational integration/ philanthropic intervention on behalf of your fellow man. I can understand why those who're tasked to disingenuously promote a failing, flawed socio-political order, would have an unfavourable view of any artistic endeavour that holds a mirror up to an uncomfortable reality, after all, with notable exceptions like 'Amazing Grace', 'The Mark Of Cain', 'This Is England' & 'London To Brighton' the British film industry in 2007 has churned out a mostly wretched hotchpotch of stale, slapstick comedies and forgettable, hi-concept potboilers. So notwithstanding the legend that is Ken Loach, whose in another league, Nick Love has, at the very least, made an honest film that attempts to engage, at some level, with the state we're in, and for that reason alone; 'Outlaw' is definitely worth a look.
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