OUTPOST 2: BLACK SUN

5.5 out of 10

Release Date: 26th August 2012 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Steve Barker

Cast: Catherine Steadman, Richard Coyle, Daniel Caltagirone, Nick Nevern, Ali Craig, Gary McDonald, Michael Byrne, Clive Russell, David Gant, Vivien Taylor with Johnny Meres and Julian Wadham

Writer: Steve Barker & Rae Bruton

Trailer: OUTPOST 2

Outpost II is an improvement on the first installment.  I was disappointed in the previous film because it was unadventurous, had a sluggish pace and was predictably plotted.  The only aspect of Outpost that was interesting was the backstory of the Black Sun Project and it’s mechanics.  The legend and the creepiness are expanded upon massively in this superior sequel.  The first Outpost saw a team of mercenaries escort a science officer come bounty hunter (JULIAN WADHAM – NOW IS GOOD) on a search for a nebulous weapon of mass destruction from the Second World War.  The selling point was that said weapon can re-animate the dead, in other words it’s an excuse to have Zombie Nazi’s trudge-amok.  The team (RAY STEVENSON, MICHAEL SMILEY, BRETT FANCEY and others) from Outpost were so dim and underwritten, the usually entertaining format of “Who-gets-it-next?’ was rendered very boring.  Gladly all but two of the original characters met with a grisly death so they haven’t returned for part II.

If there were any fans of the first one, then the sequel will be a double treat.  Elaborating on the back-story of Project Black Sun, which was the master-race’s idea to be an unstoppable military force, a reich of a thousand years,  the signal that controls the Zombies is getting stronger and wider.  The ghouls are now attacking local towns and villages leaving local soldiers and mercenariesstruggling to contain the plague.  Meanwhile, a Nazi hunter, (CATHERINE STEADMAN – SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN) gets embroiled with a second bounty hunter (RICHARD COYLE – W/E), who is essentially picking up where Julian Wadham’s character from the first film left off.  En-route to the outpost, the heroic pair fall in with a group of mercs  (DANIEL CALTIGIRONE, NICK NEVERN and otherswho will do ever so nicely as Zombie fodder.

There’s a fair bit of suspense in Outpost II and now more of the mystery is out in the open , as opposed to snatched glimpses and snatches of exposition in the first Outpost, the plot makes more sense.  There is more character motivation and you feel that real lives are at stake for bigger reasons as opposed to a fat merc pay check.  The deaths here are more inventive and the expansion of the lead Nazi-Ghoul’s presence is really welcome.  A wordless force of doom, General Gotz (JOHNNY MERES – OUTPOST) is a memorable foe.  He is certainly well cast and looks the part.  Having a nazi hunter at the head of proceedings also gives the film more of a raison d’être.  The single shock that the Nazi’s had planned such an atrocious apocalypse so far into their future is very good.  I’m not sure that there is enough juice in the tank for Outpost 3, which is currently in production, but at least they got the right mix of story, scares and characterisation right in this middle section for this rare decent sequel.

For Outpost 3, I’d like even more back-story and more General Gotz.  A much improved sequel that makes you sad that you had to sit through the bloody boring first installment. Put it on your superior sequel list!

5.5 out of 10

review by joe pesci II below…. funny f*cker.

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT PERSON IN BEFORE?

Advertisements

One thought on “OUTPOST 2: BLACK SUN

  1. REVIEW BY JOE PESCI II / MATT USHER / DR ZUCK / PENFOLD / FLUFFY

    Those of you with reasonable memories and a strange desire to follow and explore the labyrinthine threads of this site may perhaps recall that I recently saw and reviewed the film OUTPOST. I did so under protest, on the understanding that its successor was infinitely superior. Indeed it is. Now, let’s not get carried away. OUTPOST had a potentially good idea which was hoisted onto a hackneyed and inappropriate structure. With OUTPOST 2: BLACK SUN, the potentially good idea is developed and the structure is better thought out. But we’re still not in the realm of a masterpiece here. What we do have is a film which convincingly obscures most of its budgetary constraints (Scotland looks a lot more like war-ravaged Eastern Europe than last time) (again, feel free to insert anti-Scots joke here), which has a strong story well told, has some interesting characters, and a real sense of threat.

    This time those pesky Nazi zombie things have set about ravaging the area adjacent to their old outpost, an area which is increasing in size due to some sort of scientific hokum which needn’t detain us here. By this time lots of people know about the big machine thing from the last film and they all want it. So it’s a race to the outpost for assorted mercenaries, armies, Nazi-hunters and others. Our guides to this murky world are Nazi-killer (in that she tracks down and kills old Nazis) Catherine Steadman, and Richard Coyle, who starts off auditioning for an American detective show, but by the end has clearly decided that he wants to be the next Doctor Who (and I think he’d be a pretty good choice – and he’s already worked with Steven Moffat but I digress). They team up reluctantly with Daniel Caltagirone’s bunch of soldiers, who really are a lot better than poor old Ray Stevenson’s tedious troupe from the previous film. But, oh dear, death stalks them at every turn, generally courtesy of Steadman inadvertently doing girlishly silly things that girls do in war zones, like getting blokes killed (or is this really some sort of fiendish plan?) She also demonstrates just how rubbish bullets are as weapons.

    So, how does this film improve on its dull predecessor? Well, the Nazis are on the move for a start. There’s also the idea of numerous interested parties grasping for the technology (altruism? greed? paranoia?) though this means we get the obligatory multi-trillionaire lurking in a lair saying ‘good, my plan is coming together’ or some such nonsense. And there are Americans wanting to blow everything up. And there’s a real sense of gloom; characters get despatched dispassionately (and usually unexpectedly); the situation seems both hopeless and weirdly plausible (which is pretty impressive when the situation in question is: ghostly Nazis are rampaging due to some sort of shiny machine-thing!) (Apparently this was just the sort of thing they really did get up to; personally I think that sounds like victor’s history… oh, that looks like I’m being nice about the Nazis; let me be clear: Nazis – I hate those guys.) Where I do have reservations is the part this film plays in fetishizing Nazis. As if they weren’t bad enough, let’s resurrect them and fight them all over again! But then we seem to have lost the distinction between world war and global holocaust on one side, and football game on the other. (Am I ranting incoherently and irrelevantly?)

    Meanwhile, back in the movie, everyone’s running around looking for the outpost, then looking in the outpost and then underneath and behind the outpost, until the big spinny machine is revealed along with a shocking power-source (except it’s not that shocking as the opening credits tell us that Julian Wadham is going to turn up sooner or later; he looks very poorly here as some kind of human battery; personally I’d have had him running like a hamster in a wheel).

    The grand finale is something of a let-down: visually it’s straight out of the all-new DOCTOR WHO show, whilst the RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK homage (I assume it’s a homage/rip-off) just seems too obvious. Although I’m a fan of both franchises, surely OUTPOST 2 should belong to a completely different world aesthetically. Having gone to great effort in creating a grimy, nasty, miserable, uncomfortable atmosphere, we suddenly find ourselves in a showdown which is all primary colours, and good versus evil, and gadgets being flipped and swivelled, whilst characters suddenly develop the ability to get out of the line of fire and kill zombies (or whatever the devil they are – see my review of OUTPOST 1 for some unhelpful speculation there). There’s also the misguided appearance of some sort of Nazi zombie/hag/scientist with an annoying laugh and which looks like it should belong in something like an early Peter Jackson film or something Jim Henson might have made if he’d gone all peculiar.

    And there’s a coda! A coda which indicates this is part two of a trilogy! Now, the improbabilities of the coda aside (all I will say is ‘blonde’ and ‘flesh wound’), what do we make of this? Undoubtedly better than its predecessor, is OUTPOST 2 really so good, and so brimming with potential, that a third film is required to conclude the saga? The idea of the trilogy is one of the great cultural tropes of humanity and has been since at least the Oresteia of Aeschylus. Does OUTPOST really have the material to sustain such a noble tradition? Or are they counting on it being better than the I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER and THE TRANSPORTER trilogies? I don’t think there’s enough in it. Ignore the OUTPOST, watch OUTPOST 2. The end. (Unless the third one turns out to be really good – I don’t even know if there is a third one (OK I’ve just done some in-depth research and the internet says there’s one on the way with this quite abysmal subtitle: RISE OF THE SPETZNAZ). Oh dear.

    5 OUT OF 10

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s