Outland is something akin to High Noon in outer space, a simple good guys-bad guys yarn set in the future on a volcanic moon of Jupiter.
While there are several mile-wide plot holes and one key under-developed main character, the film emerges as a tight, intriguing old-fashioned drama that gives audiences a hero worth rooting for.
It’s clear from the beginning that newly arrived marshal Sean Connery is going to have his hands full. Soon into the action, a miner takes it upon himself to enter the deadly moon atmosphere without his spacesuit and literally fries before the audience’s eyes.
Connery soon finds out that the miners are growing crazy due to an amphetamine they are taking that makes them produce more, but eventually destroys their brains. It doesn’t take long to figure out that his rival (Peter Boyle), the smug general manager who basically runs the colony’s operations, is involved in supplying the drug.
Writer-director Peter Hyams falls just short of providing the exciting payoff to the conflicts he so painstakingly sets up throughout the picture.
1981: Nomination: Best Sound