Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Man Outside is a pretty average movie for the first two-thirds of the film, but the last one-third moves it into "god awful" territory. Robert Logan is a lawyer and due to a personal tragedy in his life, chucks his city ways and becomes a hermit living in the woods alone with his dog. Logan gets wrongfully accused of snatching a young boy and is arrested.... This is the point where the movie really starts to go downhill.... Logan escapes from jail to track down the abductor and the boy himself. Why did he have to escape....your guess is as good as mine....I mean he could have just orchestrated the whole thing from jail or for that matter told the sheriff who to look for. During his escape, Logan and his love interest/abettor in escape, Kathleen Quinlan, have to sit outside by a fire in the snow and discuss things, even though there's a house with heat in the background. Oh yeah....as long as they're on the run hunting down the boy and the abductor, they might has well take time for a little loving. Then there's a truck which has sat idle in the weeds, but is magically running again after obviously been given a wash and shine before it's placed back on the road (all this in the space of just a few minutes). There's a big psychotic breakdown by the real abductor near the end of the movie right before a super gooey ending. Folks, I'm just touching on some of the really stupid stuff in the last 1/3 of Man Outside....believe me when I tell you there's lots more.
Four fifths of The Band are in Man Outside. Levon Helm has a the most screen time as the sheriff. Levon did a great job in Coal Miner's Daughter portraying Loretta Lynn's father. In Man Outside I can only say his acting is adequate and that is being generous with the word "adequate". The other three members only have minor roles: Rick Danko plays the kidnapped boy's father and has a few lines. He really didn't get enough screen time for me to make any type of judgment about his acting. And speaking of not having much screen time, Richard Manuel is only billed as Vigilante #1 as he and a couple of other guys beat up Robert Logan. Garth Hudson has perhaps the strangest role, he is billed as Recluse in the credits. Supposedly he is a scarred Vietnam Vet living way back in the woods and has a couple of lines of spaced-out dialogue.
The members of The Band didn't do anything to make this movie worse than it was and I guess that should be an accomplishment of sorts. Unless you are a really big fan of The Band and just want to see most of the members in a movie, then I wouldn't recommend Man Outside, you'd be better off watching The Last Waltz.