a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

Outrage Beyond / Autoreiji Biyondo / アウトレイジ ビヨンド

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Kitano Takeshi’s ostensible sequel to last year’s Outrage is a slightly better, equally gratuitous variation on power struggles between yakuza clans. Even down to its moodily lit cinematography, it looks like Takeshi’s trying to make his own Japanese Godfather. He misses any sort of cogent sense of tragedy, though, with his increasingly baroque concentration on the minutiae of violence. It’s a bit of the same old story. A gang war erupts from small incidents until it explodes. The one fun variation in this one is the slimy cop, Detective Kataoka (a perfectly cast Fumiyo Kohinata) manipulates the whole situation. Takeshi, as director, coolly keeps the violence at bay for the first half hour, building tension as the long exposition sets up the story. By the time he lets loose with the violence, there’s some well-earned catharsis. But then he keeps on going… and going. The only real payoff is in the sequel-signifying end, where Takeshi gets his short swift revenge on Kataoka and in one single final image shows he’s as iconic as Clint Eastwood.

Originally published in EL Magazine, October 2012.

Written by Nicholas Vroman

October 1, 2012 at 11:10 pm

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