Outland 1981 ***

Derided somewhat on release as a blatant reworking of classic Western High Noon, Peter Hyams’ 1981 film is set in the same kind of dirty, industrial space as Alien, and features Sean Connery as police marshal O’Niel who has to keep the peace on the remote mining colony of Io. O’Niel discovers that the company are using drugs to heighten productiveness, but also damaging the workforce; the company boss Mark Sheppard (Peter Boyle) arranges for O’Niel to be bumped off, and the countdown begins to a stand-off between the forces of good and corporate evil. Outland looks good, as most of Hyams’ films do, and has a happy centre in Connery; it may lack originality, but Outland is a fondly remembered excursion into the dirty deals of humankind in outer-space.


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