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Artisan Home Entertainment presents
Outlaw Justice (1999)

"This is a pointless waste of lead. Why don't you just step out here so you can die."
- Holden (Sancho Gracia)

Review By: Kevin Clemons   
Published: December 04, 2003

Stars: Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Travis Tritt, Waylon Jennings
Other Stars: Sancho Gracia, Chad Willet
Director: Bill Corcoran

Manufacturer: WAMO
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for violence, language
Run Time: 01h:34m:54s
Release Date: May 20, 2003
UPC: 012236140450
Genre: western

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
C+ C-CB- D-

DVD Review

Outlaw Justice is a film of startling mediocrity. It is a standard revenge tale that has been seen a million times before, but with better direction, better actors, and certainly, a much better script. This made-for-television movie loosely updates The Magnificent Seven with a cast of country music stars, and may not be the worst western film ever made, but one has to guess that it is hovering right around that area.

Tobey (Jennings) is introduced and quickly killed in the opening minutes, in scenes that set the plot into motion. Holden (Gracia) is the killer, a former accomplice who is demanding to know the location of the other members of the group who sent him to prison. They are Lee (Nelson) and Tarence (Kristoferson) who, along with Tobey's son Bryce (Willet), dedicate their lives to finding and exacting their revenge on Holden in order to obtain justice.

The plot of Outlaw Justice is so predictable that while viewing it, I found myself making a mental checklist, marking off stereotypes and clichés as they came about. There are barroom fights, crooked law enforcement, train robberies, and even a campfire scene that includes singing and discussion about life. Had the film not resorted to these tired moments, it could have become something more akin to The Wild Bunch than every other western film made for a low budget in the past several decades.

The direction is lacking in any sort of energy, so that the gun fights seem overly long and boring without any real sense of tension. At least the vistas are often vast and beautiful, and better to look at than the actors.

The performances are, for the most part, lacking in any sort of emotional connection, but this is mostly the fault of the script. Kristofferson and Nelson nicely convey quite a bit of charm that allows the viewer to occasionally look past the problems in the script, but their performances seem as though they belong in a better film.

Rating for Style: C+
Rating for Substance: C-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Rationo

Image Transfer Review: Presented in a full-frame transfer, Outlaw Justice is presented in a transfer that is far from the best the format has to offer. Colors are muted with no vibrancy, while the black levels offer an excessive amount of grain. Edge enhancement is noticeable throughout, most evident in the scenes set indoors. This is a very poor transfer.

Image Transfer Grade: C


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Surround track is rather uneventful for the most part, with the center speaker garnering much of the activity. Dialogue is occasionally muffled, but the remainder of the time it is crisp enough, with only a few moments of distortion.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: No extra features have been offered for Outlaw Justice.

Extras Grade: D-


Final Comments

Outlaw Justice is a mess of a film with no real direction or purpose. The performances by a pair of American legends are worthy of note, but that's about it.


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