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Movie review: ‘The Outsider’

The Outsider

Director: Brian A. Miller

Cast: Craig Fairbrass, James Caan, Jason Patric

Rated: Unrated (violence)

Running time: 94 min.

* * * 

Posted 3:42pm on Thursday, Feb. 06, 2014

The Outsider doesn’t break the action movie mold in any way but it is an efficient little, low-budget crime thriller that has the good sense to not overstay its welcome.

English actor/co-writer Craig Fairbrass ( Prime Suspect) is Lex, a tough-as-titanium British military independent contractor in the Middle East who gets the news that his estranged adult daughter has been found dead in L.A. from a drug overdose. After flying to California to identify the body, he discovers that’s not his daughter on the slab — and it’s not just a simple case of mistaken identity. His daughter’s gone missing and somebody’s up to no good.

Maybe it’s the boss (James Caan) at the mysterious company where she worked. Maybe it’s the boyfriend (Johnny Messner) who runs a sleazy Hollywood club. Maybe it’s someone else entirely. Whatever the case, Lex — no doubt having seen Liam Neeson’s enraged father routine in Taken — is going to knock heads together until he gets some answers.

All the while, an LAPD detective (Jason Patric) is trying to put the pieces of the case together, too.

Fairbrass exudes a brooding, no-nonsense intensity — like Steven Seagal with some acting chops — and director/co-writer Brian A. Miller keeps things moving briskly. The result is a film that, despite its predictable dad-on-a-mission plot, proves to be more entertaining than enervating.

Exclusive: AMC Grapevine Mills

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