Sunday, August 7, 2022

Outer Range

You can tell the difference between excellent science fiction, which has many good ideas, and cheap science fiction which usually has just one good idea. I have repeatedly seen the same pattern where a mystery gets presented early on and this mystery does not get solved until the big reveal at the end of the movie, which is the one good idea. A movie that did this really well was the ultra-low-budget "The Vast of the Night". The problem with Amazon's "Outer Range" is that it takes eight episodes to get to the big reveal, although it does get much mileage out of its mystery along the way.

Royall Abbott, excellently played by Josh Brolin, is a Wyoming Rancher with a mysterious bottomless pit suddenly appearing on his ranch. Normally, this would be cause to contact the authorities, but he has his reasons for keeping this mystery a secret. He is approached by a young lady, Autumn, who wants to camp on his ranch. He doesn't want to allow it, but she has enough charm to talk him into it. She seems to know that something is going on, and initially, the two of them have the same goal of finding out what is happening. However, events lead to him seeing the future, where he discovers that he has died and she is still alive. Oddly enough, he thinks that he can change the future by killing Autumn, so she tries to kill him too. However, the two of them have a connection that isn't revealed until the finale.

There are parallel storylines, where Royall's two boys get into a barfight where somebody gets killed. The person killed is part of a family on a neighboring ranch that is trying to use the legal system to steal Royall's ranch.

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