Out Of The Shadows

The Outsider
Stars: Trace Adkins, Jon Foo, Sean Patrick Flanery, Kaiwi Lyman, Mitchell L. Johnson, Nelli Tsay and Danny Trejo
Director: Timothy Woodward, Jr.
Scriptwriter: Sean Ryan
Composer: Samuel Joseph Smythe
Cinematographer: Pablo Diez
Single Malt Productions/Player 1 Films/Cinedigm
Rating: No Rating but could be R for violence, profanity and sexual content
Running Length: 88 Minutes
(another title: “Bennett’s War”)

“The Outsider” is a dark western in two ways.  The first is the story of murder and revenge and the second being a great part of the film is shot at night and many of the characters are wearing dark clothing. The star of the film is singer/actor Trace Adkins. 

The film begins on a rainy night with a man digging in the ground.  The film then goes back to the man whose name is Jing (martial arts star Jon Foo) and lives with his wife, Nelli (Li Phang) in a work camp. Their tent is lit by a lantern and you can see carefully made paper birds on the ceiling as decorations. As the story continues, Nelli has caught someone’s eye, James (Kaiwi Lyman) who is the son of the Marshal (Trace Adkins.) They don’t get along. Jing ends up in jail, there is a murder and from then on, there is a manhunt for Jing who has escaped..  Along the way, Jing picks up Tracker (Sean Patrick Flanery), who changes sides from bad to helping Jing. The Marshal has hired men to get Jing, who is proficient in martial arts and manages to take care of a room full of men with ease---daylight or night. Who committed the crime is known to the Marshall, who doesn’t quite know what to do about it. This leads to secrets coming back to haunt people. 

There isn’t much dialogue in “The Outsider.” Actions do the talking here, usually with a fist. There is violence, sexual content, and one scene that could have been omitted because the audience already knows the guy is corrupt. The phrase, “some people are just born bad,” could apply here. 

Trace Adkins is fine as the Marshal who can’t make decisions and this hampers his judgement. Kaiwi Lyman, as James, does a villain well as the son who isn’t what his father expected. Jon Foo plays Jing as a peaceful man until he is angered. Li Phang as Nelli, is a quiet woman who seems lost in a new country. It is Sean Patrick Flanery as Tracker, the man who changes sides, who brings depth to his character, with a bit of sarcasm, also. 

“The Outsider” is a compact western, less than 90 minutes, and you have a story of violence and revenge and secrets brought forth. With shadows, darkness and silhouettes, you know violence has occurred without actually seeing it. The fact that Jing knew how to physically defend himself could have had an explanation.

Singer/actor Trace Adkins voice is similar, at times, to Sam Elliott or Kris Kristofferson.  Danny Trejo is in the cast and in a crowd, you can pick out his voice at once. 


Copyright 2019 Marie Asner