In the distant future, a police marshal stationed at a remote mining colony on the Jupiter moon of Io uncovers a drug-smuggling conspiracy, and gets no help from the populace when he later finds himself marked for murder.
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Richard C. Sarafian
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Marshal W.T. O'Niel is assigned to a mining colony on Io, one of Jupiter's moons. During his tenure miners are dying - usually violently. When the marshal investigates he discovers the one thing all the deaths have in common is a lethal amphetamine-type drug, which allows the miners to work continuously for days at a time until they become "burned out" and expire. O'Niel follows the trail of the dealers, which leads to the man overseeing the colony. Now O'Niel must watch his back at every turn, as those who seek to protect their income begin targeting him... Written by
Director Peter Hyams actually handled the cinematography for most of the film. Stephen Goldblatt was misleadingly hired by Hyams, who only wanted him to stand aside and do nothing, and to use him as a scapegoat for the production company in case anything went wrong while using the IntroVision process. According to Goldblatt, he was furious at being lied to and wouldn't have taken the job if he'd known Hyams' intentions at the outset. He stayed on in order to learn how to use IntroVision, and because as a young cinematographer with a sole prior feature credit, quitting a film could have ruined his career. It is the only one of his films whose wrap party he skipped. See more »
In the outdoor scenes showing Io's mining buildings with Jupiter and the stars in the background, the stars are blinking. Such blinking is caused by viewing the stars through an atmosphere, as on Earth. But Io has virtually no atmosphere. Therefore, the stars should have been shining steadily. See more »
You know, you haven't your medical all-star here. Company doctors are like ship's doctors. Most are just one shuttle flight ahead of a malpractice suit.
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In the opening credits, the word "Principal" is misspelled. See more »
Almost a great movie...it settles for being an entertaining near-miss
Writer-director Peter Hyams has always shown a love not just for science-fiction stories but an understanding of what makes science-fiction fun. He's not interested in exasperating details or mechanical jargon, he just wants to have a good time. This is both pro and con for his "Outland", a fairly gripping movie set in the 21st Century which has enjoyable ingredients but is too routine overall. Sean Connery plays a cop investigating a mysterious rash of suicides among mining workers on one of Jupiter's moons; Frances Sternhagen is terrific as a cynical doctor who aides in his research. Film begins very well, but Hyams gets bogged down in plot-externals and good guys-vs.-bad guys shtick. Not a bad thriller. It just isn't very special, and that's a shame because Connery is solid (as usual) and the production is highly adept. **1/2 from ****
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