Outrage Beyond (2012)

111.

★★★★

Directed by: Takeshi Kitano
Written by: Takeshi Kitano (screenplay)
Starring: Takeshi Kitano, Ryo Kase and Toshiyuki Nishida

Yakuza-style anger management.

Maverick Japanese writer-director Takeshi Kitano proves Yakuza dramas are still his specialty in Outrage Beyond – a slicker and more controlled sequel to his 2010 Outrage. With clans operating on a grander scale (expanding their reach to political power and legitimate corporations), and a sly cop trying to manipulate the relationships between clans, Outrage Beyond satisfies as a sequel, particularly for fans familiar with Kitano’s work and those who can appreciate slow-burning gangster movies. The violence and finger-chopping rituals may be leaner in comparison to the first film, but by no means does this make Outrage Beyond any less compelling and brutal.

Two powerful crime families based in Tokyo are on the verge of all-out war in Kitano’s Outrage Beyond. Even with a sake-bound alliance, the Sanno clan and the Hanabishi clan turn against each other with Detective Katakao pushing things along for the benefit of his own career. And while the first film would have us believe that Otomo (Kitano) is no more, Outrage Beyond resurrects the professional killer for a reluctant return for vengeance, aided by his former enemy.

While the first hour of expository conversations takes a razor sharp attention span to follow Kitano’s complex web of character connections and intrigue, Outrage Beyond rewards those who wait as the punches of action come in gruesomely inventive forms, clearing up any narrative confusion with some clean gunshots and less yakuza chit chat. 

With direction and choreography that proves Kitano’s mastery over the genre, the yakuza thriller Outrage Beyond gets down to business with style and relish.

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