Film #125: OUTRAGE
Outrage (aka The Outrage aka Autoreiji aka Asygratiti Orgi)
3.5 out of 5 stars
The great Japanese director Takeshi “Beat” Kitano directs his 15th feature film with this stellar Yakuza drama. Unlike say… a Takashi Miike film, gone are the huge gun battles and blood splattering everywhere. Instead, Kitano chooses to punctuate the drama with moments of breathtaking violence that is never gratuitous or exploitative. This is a film that centers on the drama and political intrigue as a Yakuza war breaks out and quickly escalates. The roster of journeymen actors all do exemplary work even if the plot appears slightly unfocused. But Kitano has an artist’s eye and is able to mine some beautiful visual moments from within all the macho posturing. OUTRAGE was not met with universal approval from critics, but the film is solid all the way around. Kitano (along with men like Miike) is one of the most interesting Japanesse filmmakers in the last few decades and I’ve enjoyed all of his films - even the flawed ones. So, I went into OUTRAGE already predisposed to liking it. Thankfully, it did not disappoint. Yakuza film fans will dig this (especially once they figure out the film isn’t a “shoot-‘em-up”). Non-fans may want to use this as their first exposure to a truly great genre of cinema.