The best comparison for Takeshi Kitano in terms of his American equivalent is Michael Mann. His best and most memorable ventures have always been with the Yakuza in the same way Mann is in his element when he deals with criminals. And Kitano, after a fairly lengthy break way from the genre, returned with Outrage.
It’s a fairly difficult film to summarize in terms of plot, as the film’s main running time is essentially wall to wall violence, involving the Yakuza in a blood feud where nearly everyone dies. It’s akin to the ending of Cinema Paradiso except if all the violence scenes from better films were spliced into one seemingly continuous violent stream of a film. At times it gets to be a bit much as you almost wish you could have a scene without it that lasts longer than a minute.
Outrage doesn’t have much beyond that. A good way to understand the film is to understand Kitano’s motivations for the film. He wanted to make something purely commercial instead of telling his usual sort of nihilistic story. After plotting out character deaths he crafted the story to fit them all in. Not knowing this beforehand it makes the film fit better; instead of viewing it as a seemingly directionless film focusing on nothing but violence.
Outrage is an interesting film and the Blu-ray format gives it a zest that lovers of cinematic violence can enjoy. The problem is that it has nothing beside the violence, which is fairly remarkable and well done. This is a film that can barely fit in the clichés of the Yakuza genre between the violence and as such it’s a solid watch but nothing to go out of your way for.
Presented in a widescreen format with a surround sound, this is a beautiful transfer.
There are two Interview segments with the cast as well as a Q&A, all of which shed some light into the film but not much. Both of the film’s Trailers are included as well as the usual Behind the Scenes documentary.
If you need a generic Yakuza thriller to kill nearly two hours, Outrage is a nice diversion. But it’s not a brilliant representation of either the genre or Kitano’s work.
Magnet Releasing presents Outrage. Written & Directed by Takeshi Kitano. Starring Takeshi Kitano, Ryo Kase. Running time: 109 minutes. Rated R. Released on Blu-ray: January 31, 2012. Available at Amazon.com.