★ ★ 1/2 out of 5
Directed by Takeshi Kitano
Starring Takeshi Kitano as Otomo
Kippei Shîna as Mizuno
The “Chairman” of a large Japanese crime syndicate expresses his concerns about one of his employees, Otomo’s, friendship with rival drug trafficker Mizuno. Otomo, to show his loyalty to the chairman, intends to start a small fight with Mizuno, but the small fight goes too far, and soon the two crime organizations are in a full out war.
I’ve never seen a Yakuza movie before, so this is a first for me. I’ve always found Japanese cinema to be the most interesting for some reason, and I’m sure the yakuza genre is amazing, but I found Outrage just didn’t do anything for me. For one, I found the film to move at a snail’s pace, and it didn’t really use it for much. In a movie where the conflict is full of possibilities to put in endless tension and unsettling scenes, there isn’t much of that, it’s just slow, and oftentimes dull. There are far too many characters, and so we never get time to connect with any one of them. And we never feel any impact when they get killed. There’s also the fact that the movie would be 90% dialogue, and without any warning get ultra-violent. This would work in some cases, but the switch is so drastic, and going from a conversation to seeing someone’s finger be chopped off, or watching someone’s head get crushed. It is not pleasant. A lot of times, Outrage took it too far in my opinion. I’m not usually sensitive to violence on film, and Outrage‘s violence certainly isn’t even in the top 50 most graphic films I’ve seen, but the changes it makes from slow, and quiet, to brutal violence makes it have more of an impact. Now that may be a good thing for some people. Some people will love the effect. But personally, I don’t like it. That said, the camera work on the film was pretty great. And it did accomplish everything it set out to do. So I have to give it some props for that, but I just didn’t like it. That said, I am interested in the yakuza genre. So if anyone has any suggestions for the best of the genre, that’d be great.