In a down-and-out Mexican village circa 1950, an outlaw drifts along the open road. As outlaws do, he stumbles into a deserted bar and orders a stiff drink from the embittered but soulful old barmaid. Just as this rambler is about to relax into his glass, no sooner does a band of goons bust in with a thrust of blood lust. Naturally, he flees with a classic bar-leaping exit.
Who is this mysterious wanderer and why do all those nasty men want to kill him? Why is he in a deserted cinema and why is that crazy lady laughing? Why does that creepy old blind seer keep telling our hero he’s going to die?
Those studied in forensic celebrity tattoo-ology will quickly recognize the drifter’s well-inked hands and forearms as those of superstar footballer David Beckham. As for what’s going on in this short film, Outlaws, that’s harder to pin down. Written and directed by Geremy Jasper and produced by LEGS for fashion brand Belstaff, the film is, in Jasper’s own words, a fever dream.
Sporting a stellar cast that includes Katherine Waterston as the trapeze artist, Cathy Moriarty as the barmaid and Harvey Keitel as a demented film director, and executive produced by Liv Tyler, Outlaws centers on Beckham’s character and flits between the present, where he’s on the lam, and the past, which explains why he’s destined to roam alone.
In a nutshell, the plot goes something like this: the outlaw’s chance encounter with a B-film director lands him a stunt-riding role in a flick about of sideshow misfits. He and the film’s ingénue quickly fall in love, much to the director’s displeasure. When the brooding outlaw runs off with the starlet, saving her from the maniacal clutches of the director, a bounty is put on his head. The story intertwines to and fro with heavy doses of Fellini oddity, some outlandish stunts, and serves as a master class for the steely stare-down.
Beckham, as an actor, does little more than look pretty and leather-clad while riding his motorcycle, which for fans of Becks is really not a bad thing. As a piece of content on behalf of a fashion brand, Belstaff adds a well-produced, if off-kilter, piece to the canon.