x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Outlaw

DVD review A tale of the breakdown of the social contract in contemporary London.

With the recent events on a Dubai beach, and now the DVD release of Nick Love's Outlaw, a tale of the breakdown of the social contract in contemporary London, the inevitable question comes to mind: what has happened to merry old England? Outlaw's answer is that it's gone the way of the bowler hat and bumbershoot. Society is now ruled by thugs who intimidate the common man with impunity, leaving no other option but for individuals to forsake civilisation and become vigilante outlaws themselves. It's an old story and Outlaw treads perilously close to a Billy Jack / Death Wish mentality that threatens to derail the ominous atmosphere successfully evoked with a washed-out palette and naturalistic camera. The atmosphere remains but parts of the plot become so ludicrous that it hardly matters. In the making-of documentary included on the DVD, Love says that in post-production he came to the conclusion that Outlaw was really just "a revenge thriller". That is basically true, but the range of complex characters and the dynamics of social breakdown make Outlaw more, though not a lot more, than just "a revenge thriller".