When Takeshi Kitano released the first Outrage film, I was left pretty unsatisfied. While the film had some great elements to it, including its cast and setting, the film had plenty of plot points that were either entirely unnecessary or just plain boring. When I found out that there was to be a sequel to the film, Beyond Outrage, I didn’t know how to feel. On the one hand, I was excited to see Kitano making another film, but the previous entry to this world, left me out in the cold. After laying my eyes upon Beyond Outrage, its easy to say that’s its the better of the two and one of the strongest Yakuza films to ever come out of Japan and Kitano himself.
From the very opening of the film, where a car is fished out of the ocean, with two dead bodies in it, Kitano’s latest offers a sense of dread, that was sorely missing from the first entry. This, right along with the excellent score provided by Keiichi Suzuki, provides both the tone and mood for Outrage Beyond, that offers much more insight into the deadly underworld of Japan. Many of the cast members return, including Tomokazu Miura as Chairman Kato, Ryo Kase as Ishihara and Fumiyo Kohinata as Detective Kataoka. The acting was never the issue in the first Outrage, which gives Outrage Beyond the ability to flesh out the world’s characters a bit more and proceed to have the actor’s illustrate their talents. Where the first film was extremely bleak, in both the sense of its plot and theme of “What goes around comes around”, this sequel uses its genre conventions to illustrate the cycle of violence and their ties to yakuza codes in ways that the first film only glazed over.
Kitano’s characters are always pretty fascinating, but his rendition of Otomo, from the Outrage series is an interesting one. In the first film, he was obsessed with violence and making sure that people never crossed him. By the time we get to him in this film, he never wishes to get into any altercations with anyone, even people that have done him wrong. It feels as though Kitano’s Otomo has a strong moral center and has learned that this cycle of violence doesn’t end and is trying everything in his power to stop it, at least within his own means and immediate circle. When we get to a final scene between Otomo and Detective Kataoka, there’s a direct response to all of the betrayal, manipulation and brutality that sends a shocking message to both his enemies and the audience.
The Blu-Ray from Magnet Pictures is a pretty impressive one, in regards to both its A/V presentation and its lengthy behind the scenes documentary as an extra. The video on the disc is presented in an AVC-Encoded 1080p transfer, with an aspect ratio of 2.40:1. The video looks incredible and showcases the beautiful cinematography done by Katsumi Yanagijima for Outrage Beyond. The film contains plenty of detailed shots of the city, in a cold blue tint, that hangs on just about every frame. There’s a ton of amount of detail in the film, even though a majority of it is shown with tons of people sitting in rooms, yelling at one another. The audio of the film comes in a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix, that is extremely subtle, yet effective. The dynamics of the soundtrack are amazing, going from solid clear dialog, to loud and abrupt gunshots, that feel authentic and realized in the mix. The score from Keiichi Suzuki is a fabulous one and easily one of the strongest scores for a Kitano film to date. The only extra of the film is an hour long documentary, titled “Outrage Further Beyond” where they explore the making of the film, from the ground up. Its extremely insight full to hear the actors talk about the project and Kitano express his goals and desires for indulging in another Yakuza film.
While I was extremely scared initially to see Outrage Beyond, I can easily say that its one of the best Yakuza films I’ve seen in a very long time. While I still feel that the first film isn’t perfect, its a necessary evil, in order to fully appreciate Outrage Beyond. With things hanging in the balance and talk of a third Outrage film, I will certainly wait patiently as Kitano will manage to unleash another Yakuza masterpiece. Highly Recommended!