Outer Range Review: Josh Brolin’s Series Is Too Strange to Be Entertaining

Science fiction and westerns don't seem like two genres that would go together, but they can occasionally work together to create incredibly compelling thrillers, as we've seen with Westworld, which is now in production.

With the help of those two plays, a new Prime Video series has been created that includes some serious family-oriented storylines, as well as a murder cover-up. Does it appear to be a lot? Continue reading for more information.

Opening Shot

There's a flash of lightning. Suddenly, we hear someone remark, “Know anything about a Greek god called Kronos?”

The Gist of the Matter

Outer Range
Outer Range

Royal Abbott (Josh Brolin), a Wyoming rancher, has been coping with some harsh occurrences in the lives of his family and the operation of his ranch. The Tillersons, who run a commercial ranch adjacent to his, assert that his fences should be relocated since they own the ground on which they are situated.

It's been nine months since the wife of their son Perry (Tom Pelphrey) has gone missing, and he and his wife Cecilia (Lili Taylor) are suffering as a result. And their son Rhett (Lewis Pullman) appears to be having difficulties with his budding bull-riding career, which may be owing to his fondness for drink, according to the film.

There's also something else: when searching for some wandering cattle, Royal comes into a large hole on the outside of his farm. It's an unusual-looking hole since it appears to have been excavated by anything other than a human.

It also appears to have no bottom. When he reaches into the cloud that has gathered around the aperture, flashbacks from his youth, as well as visions of the future, pour into his mind like a waterfall. When he yanks his arm out, it appears as if hours have elapsed between them.

Outer Range
Outer Range

Because he had a premonition that the police were going to put an end to their investigation into Perry's wife, Perry and Rhett went to the local watering hole that night to drown their sorrows.

Perry throws up on Trevor Tillerson (Matt Lauria), who gets Perry into a fight by bringing up the subject of his missing wife (also played by Lauria). Even though Rhett walks outside to take care of Trevor, once he returns inside, Perry has the upper hand and beats Trevor nearly to death. The time it takes to bring Trevor back to the ranch is too late. He's dead.

During Perry's attempt to fend off Trevor's brothers Luke (Shaun Sipos) and Billy (Noah Reid), Royal determines that the most expedient method to dispose of Trevor's body is to throw him down the pit. Autumn (Imogen Poots), a “poet” who had requested permission to camp on the property, manages to apprehend him.

What Television Shows Will It Brings to Mind?

Outer Range's fusion of the western and science fiction genres is reminiscent of Westworld, however, the family drama is more akin to Yellowstone than anything else.

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Our Point of View

Outer Range
Outer Range

With Outer Range, the goal is for it to serve as both a hefty multigenerational family drama and a mysterious mystery series at the same time. However, the majority of the time it is just uninteresting.

There are a lot of sequences in the dark or near-dark in the first episode of the drama, which was developed by Brian Watkins, and characters who don't seem to be much more shaded than the people in the dark-shot scenes.

In the show's first episode, it's quite evident that the writers are struggling to keep the oddity while still including elements of more traditional drama. In the beginning, Autumn appears to be a touch weird, but that's all there is to her personality.

However, when she expresses an interest in purchasing the ranch from Royal and then becomes cryptic after she witnesses him dispose of Trevor in the mystery hole, it doesn't seem completely justified.

The entire mystery doesn't feel like it was earned in any way. Royal is a gruff and stoic character — Brolin's bread and butter — who keeps his emotions in check despite the difficulties his family is suffering.

Outer Range
Outer Range

Nevertheless, he discovers a gaping hole, inserts his arm into it, attempts to fill it, attempts to conceal it, shouts at it, and then… decides that he will use the gaping hole to cover up his sons' murder? It appears that we have skipped a couple of phases in this process.

We're not even sure if the hole occurs at the same time as the onset of Autumn or not. We believe it does, but other things are going on with Royal at the moment, and he is losing sight of the passing time. Despite his stoicism, he is on the verge of breaking down on the inside.

However, we are unsure exactly how long we will have to wait until we experience any of these emotional breakthroughs. A lot more moments with our eyes closed, more cartoonish conflict between the Abbott and Tillerson families and more cryptic remarks from the enigmatic Autumn are all things we're looking forward to in Season 2. We can't even keep our eyes open while writing about it, let alone viewing it.

Our Thoughts

SKIP IT. When it's possible to watch it, Outer Range is a visually stunning film with strong performances from Brolin, Taylor, and Poots in leading roles. Its familial drama nor its otherworldly components, however, are fascinating enough to make up for the show's lurching pacing.

Bradley Statler
Bradley Statler
As a Voracious Reader, Bradley Statler Appreciates the Outdoors and Being in Touch With the Natural World. A Voracious Traveler, He's Visited a Wide Variety of Far-flung Destinations. From Celebrities and Technology to Modern Relationships, He Discusses Them All on His Website, Michigansportszone.com. Bradley Statler Believes That His Life Experiences Have Improved His Empathy for Others and That His Art Reflects That.

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