Beyond Outrage Blu-Ray Review
Despite not having seen the original, I was ready to watch BEYOND OUTRAGE. Takeshi Kitano, the director and lead, has a reputation for putting together some well made Yakuza films; thoughtful blood baths with just a pinch of dark humor. Needless to say, my expectations weren’t sky high, but I was expecting the Japanese equivalent of American gangster movies I know and love. Even though at times I was a bit confused as to what exactly was happening, I still had a blast.
The film opens on the discovery of two bodies in a car, the important body being that of a high ranking government official. Cops are shocked because they can’t believe the new leader of the Yakuza, Kato (Miura), would be so bold. Of course you can be when you lead Japan’s largest Yakuza. He doesn’t seem bothered or worried about who he kills and any of the repercussions. His sly hand has corrupted politicians, police and even members of smaller Yakuza groups. Why should he worry? The disgruntled men below him are too afraid to do anything. Luckily the police have concocted devious plan.
It’s exciting to see a movie that doesn’t show dirty cops, but instead shows cops willing to play dirty. The police employ the talents of Kataoka (Fumiyo Kohinata), a man who’s willing to go undercover as a corrupt officer to further complicate things in the Yakuza. He plants seeds of descent in some of the leaders, but despite his best efforts, he realizes that there’s one person who could easily an end to Kato and possibly the Yakuza. That man is Otomo (Kitano). He’s an aging prisoner who rejects the ideals of the Yakuza he once fought for. Kataoka pulls some strings and proceeds to get Otomo released early from prison, knowing that Otomo’s presence is sure to cause some problems. Luckily for the movie and for me, it does in wild fashion.
The exposition for the first hour of this movie gets to be a bit exhausting. The life in this movie quickly comes back when we go from one merciless act of killing to the next. My favorite being a man left tied to a chair in front a baseball pitching machine. Ironically this exercise in brutality does not become tiresome. The movie as a whole however does feel unnecessarily long as it just squeaks by under the two hour mark. I think Kitano might want to get an editor to help him polish his stories up a bit.
I managed to keep up with all the backstabbing and alliances of all the characters, but I really found myself not caring a lot of times. As interesting as they were, the bosses felt a bit one dimensional. I feel like the motivations by the Yakuza can only be chalked up to selfishness and cowardice. While this is an incredibly intriguing world waiting to be explored through torture and violence, I’d like to be able to see the inner workings of this organized crime association instead of a bunch of elderly men and cops having their minions and assassins moved about like pawns on a chessboard awaiting slaughter. The final act though, goes against the norms we’ve come to expect in this genre and definitely leaves the door open for a sequel, which I wouldn’t mind seeing. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go watch the first.
BEYOND OUTRAGE BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: (1080p HD 16×9, 2:40:1) The digital transfer is pristine. The pale industrial world featured in BEYOND OUTRAGE is beautifully painted by Yakuza blood.
Audio: (5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio) The movie only features the Japanese audio, no English dubbing. The movie does offer subtitles in English, Spanish. I’m a bit surprised there is no English dubbing in the hopes of appeasing American audiences, but nonetheless happy I can hear the original actors inflections.
Making of: Outrage “Further” Beyond (1:01:58): This is your usual behind the scenes look at the making of the film, but at times goes to very detailed lengths. It looks at the filming process, sometimes day-by-day and how our actors felt about their roles while they were filming specific scenes. It feels almost like a mini-accompanying movie to BEYOND OUTRAGE. As I stated above, I was confused by a lot of back story, but this was definitely helpful in understanding the story better. This is also in Japanese, but is provided with English subtitles.
Theatrical Trailers from Magnolia Home Entertainment