"Too many cooks spoil the broth". Here: the movie is so much fragmented with all sorts of messages, it makes the viewer tired to watch. Colonialism, racism, crime, political obsession.. a huge cocktail which is garnished with some borrowed Mafia movie elements. The actors are performing well; the problem here is the director, who can't refrain from overloading.
though it emulates hollywood in disappointing ways, "outside the law" is quite engrossing. it's perplexing to see the workings of the FLN prior to algerian independence cast as gangster movie fodder, but the strong cast makes it work. the film's grim acceptance of the moral ambiguity that lead to emancipation is surprisingly sobering, but not so much as to settle into false equivalencies about who was in the right.
This is one of those films in which the filmmakers layer on one depressing scene after another, most of which are also quite violent. The result is a film that obviously condemns violence of any kind, but whether the violence is also glamorized is arguable. After setting scene after scene of blood-letting to pulse-pounding music, the film seems to want to make the audience eagerly anticipate the next bit of violence.
Outside the Law is Bouchareb's second major film, using the same cast as Days of Glory. It's a tale of three Algerian brothers who together, bring the Algerian revolution to French soil in the 1950's. I've not seen a film that mimics scenes from the Godfather, but Outside the Law does so in a couple ways. The story is not as fluid or compelling as Days of Glory, but the political tone is very interesting in this film