Invariably without fail, reviewers point out the similarity between Outland and the classic Western High Noon (1952), usually dismissing it with High Moon type reviews. To get it over with, yes, Outland does steal High Noons basic plot of a sheriff in a small community taking a lone moral stand against a corrupt landowner. It often seems to be a conscious homage like the station barroom that has swing doors. However, the Western plot transfers to outer space surprisingly well. There are a few absurdities and scientific implausibilities Outland is one of the most notorious films that promotes the scientifically absurd cliche that heads will explode as soon as they are exposed to a vacuum. In another scene, Sean Connery (seemingly still in James Bond mode) improbably manages to avoid a killers garrotte with a strip of plastic conveniently placed around his neck.
On the other hand, Peter Hyams creates a strong and effective portrait of a bustling and credible lunar colony and Philip Harrisons rats kitchen of colony sets are impressively gritty and realistic. The special effects are good with some breathtaking vistas of Jupiter looming over the station as backdrop to the action. Hyams conducts action well with some fine chase sequences through the constricted sets and out around the outside of the colony during the last 20 minutes of the film. Sean Connerys wry sense of humour enlivens a film as always, and Frances Sternhagens gives worthwhile support as a grizzled, hard-drinking doctor.
A remake of Outland has been announced in the 2010s.
Peter Hyamss other genre films include:- Stay Tuned (1992), a comedy set in a Hell that is like a tv networks; the time travel/action film Timecop (1994); the monster movie The Relic (1997); the End Times action film End of Days (1999); and the Ray Bradbury adaptation A Sound of Thunder (2005). He has also produced the quirkily appealing Universal monster homage The Monster Squad (1987).