Thursday, April 17, 2014

Film Review: Beyond Outrage (2012)

Beyond Outrage (Review)
Japan/2012
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"Beat Takeshi's direction and performance are spot-on."

As the Sanno-kai transitions into its new leadership, all-out war erupts between East's Sanno and West's Hanabishi crime syndicates...

Beyond Outrage is a sequel to 2010's Outrage; in this case, you should watch the first before watching the sequel as there is a lot going on. The story starts off a bit rough with a lot of information to digest. Eventually, it irons out. The Sanno-kai is still in the process of transitioning power to its new leader, Kato, after the events of the previous film. Meanwhile, the police attempt to instigate a war between the two largest crime syndicated in the East and West, respectively. The cherry on the top is the prison release of Otomo (Beat Takeshi), a former yakuza who may be useful in this war. Much of the film consists of deception, careful planning, then the execution. The film's ending is great -- definitely an extremely satisfying ending for fans of the film.

As I previously stated, you'll be completely lost if you haven't seen the first film; in fact, I recently watched and reviewed the first film and I was even a bit overwhelmed by the plot. The film has so many characters and organizations to memorize, it's just... complicated. Don't fret, though, you'll eventually ease into the film. I really liked the plot, it feels like something is always going on. The dialogue alone makes this feel like an action movie since it's so quick and strong, for lack of a better term. The violence is very creative this time around; it's not extremely graphic, and I don't think it topples the tongue scene in Outrage, but it's more versatile and creative. The use of dark humor is also welcomed -- the dark humor is often hilarious and blends seamlessly with the rest of the film. Ultimately, I think this sequel barely topples the great first installment; its just does almost everything slightly better than the first.

Beat Takeshi is great, he plays the badass yakuza well -- I really enjoy how he keeps his composure throughout most of the performance, really making a believable gangster. Ryo Kase plays Ishihara and his character and performance is the stereotypical "angry Japanese man" -- there is maybe one scene where he isn't shouting. Otherwise, the acting is great. The cinematography is also great, I really enjoyed the different tints in the lighting. The camerawork was also immersive and engaging. The music stood out, very unique for the genre. Beat Takeshi's direction is great, he has mastered the gangster film genre.

Overall, Beyond Outrage is a great gangster film. Beat Takeshi's direction and performance are spot-on. The plot may take a while to iron out, but when it does, you're in for an engaging, entertaining, and even slightly insightful gangster epic. Although I rate both the same score, I think this sequel is a little better than the first film. Oh, and I wanted to make the review a little longer, but I also wanted to keep the spoilers out for those who've only seen the first or haven't seen either.

Score: 8/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood.

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