Directed by: Takeshi Kitano(Beat Takeshi)
Written by: Takeshi Kitano
Produced by: Masayuki Mori, Takio Yoshida
Starring: Takeshi Kitano, Kippei Shiina, Ryo Kase, Tomokazu Miura, Jun Kunimura, Tetta Sugimoto, Takashi Tsukamoto
Language: Japanese with English subtitles
Run Time: 109 minutes
Finally Beat Takeshi has returned, much to the excitement of his fans, to the dark and shadowy world of the Yakuza in his latest film Outrage. This isn’t your typical Yakuza film where the characters are disciplined, classy and somewhat respectable; instead, Outrage is a louder movie where the characters lack all subtlety, are cold and embrace their inner asshole (the way Takeshi says asshole is one of his trademarks). Outrage experiments with a different sort of style where there isn’t a single protagonist but a group of villains selfishly misleading each other in order take control of the wealth that organized crime has offer.
Outrage does a lot of things well, such as the photography or some of the creativity in the way the characters are killed, but does some things extremely badly. For instance, there doesn’t seem to be a coherent plot due to the fact that there is no main character. At some points it seems like more of a soap opera geared towards men where one sneaky man pulls the strings of other characters much in the same way a cunning woman character would; using a manly version of that he said she said type of manipulation.
Now that the main problem with the movie is covered we can get into all of the good parts like the violence. Everybody knows that gangsters are supposed to be extremely ruthless and the characters reflect that as they act more like psychopaths without remorse than productive members of society. The lack of human decency leads to some very innovative ways for the characters to maim and kill each other. Some of the action is cold, some of it makes you cringe, and some of it leaves appreciating the ability of Takeshi to do hurt people in creative ways.
The acting is superb and there’re a lot of familiar faces in the cast. Jun Kunimura has appeared in close to 100 films and TV shows including Kill Bill vol 1, Ichi the Killer and Audition. Musase is played by Renji Ishibashi who also had a role in Audition, Dead or Alive and over 200 other roles. When listing actors in the film, you can’t forget to mention Beat Takeshi who’s stared and directed in many of his own films and television shows. In fact all of the actors have quite a long resume which isn’t surprising since all of the characters are fun to watch, especially some of their facial expressions.
Outrage is a hit or miss film, it’s a hit if you like Japanese gangsters and gratuitous violence but a miss if you want a movie with a deep plot and likeable characters. Sometimes it’s best to sit back and enjoy the show and that’s exactly what Outrage is good for. It’s violent, silly, has big stars and there’s no excuse for Takeshi fans to miss it.