As if yesterday’s Muppets/Ocean’s 11 mash-up wasn’t goofy enough, we’ve just come across an even loopier fanboy homage – a zanily recast trailer for the new movie Outlander, which comes out in UK cinemas tomorrow.
Co-writer/director Howard McCain has re-imagined the origins of the epic Old English poem Beowulf, thrusting an alien astronaut out of Erich von Däniken and a CGI-conjured fantasy beast into the ancient Norse world as a way of explaining the myth of the heroic Beowulf and his battles with the baneful Grendel and Grendel’s even deadlier mother.
So Jim Caviezel plays extraterrestrial warrior Kainan, who crash lands in a Norwegian fjord in the year 709 A.D. Unfortunately, there’s a lethal stowaway aboard his craft: the Moorwen, a vengeful creature whose race has been destroyed by Kainan’s people.
When Kainan gets captured by the local Viking tribe, headed by John Hurt’s Rothgar (another nod to Alien) and his hot-headed nephew Wulfric (Jack Huston), the ‘outlander’ is, of course, the only one around who understands what is causing the mayhem now being wrought by the Moorwen.
Fortunately, Kainan has used his superior technology to download comprehension of the local language into his brain, an icky business that involves poking his lingo-gizmo into his eyeball, which he manages just in time before all the artefacts of his superior technology have sunk in the fjord, got lost or gone kaput.
Speaking the same language as the locals is handy, but it doesn’t help him, initially, convince them of the threat they are facing. Eventually, of course, he proves his worth as a warrior, bonds with Wulfric and cosies up with Rothgar’s daughter Freya (Sophia Myles) before leading the Vikings into a final showdown with the Morwen.
Yes, it’s all bonkers, of course, but not nearly as silly as watching a CGI-buffed Ray Winstone give us a cockney Viking hero in Robert Zemeckis’s motion-capture animated extravaganza Beowulf. And McCain does propel the action along with grim gusto, while Caviezel, Hurt and co manage to keep straight faces – almost as straight, indeed, as the spoof trailer’s plastic toys.
On general release from 24th April