Beyond Outrage (Autoreiji: Biyondo) (R)

Action/Adventure 112 January 3, 2014
By Nick Schager
With 2011's Outrage, Takeshi "Beat" Kitano returned to the gangster genre that first brought him big-screen success, depicting a modern yakuza underworld structured like a hierarchical corporation and populated by men who — dispensing with any Godfather-style codes of conduct — perpetually schemed to get to the top. It was a nasty, convoluted affair, shot with a methodical chilliness that reflected its characters' efforts to backstab their way to power. The apparent death of Kitano's protagonist Otomo, as well as the fact that the story made its point conclusively via an everyone-falls-down finale, suggests that Beyond Outrage was a redundant proposition from the outset. Still, it's somewhat surprising to find the filmmaker's sequel marked by such a lack of urgency. The action here seems dutiful, devoid of the indignation at criminal vileness that seethed below Outrage's surface. Sure to be incomprehensible to anyone unfamiliar with its predecessor, Beyond Outrage picks up a few years after the prior film's climactic bloodbath, with Kato (Tomokazu Miura) now leading the Sanno clan into a new era of prosperity. Crooked detective Kataoka (Fumiyo Kohinata) fails to set in motion a plot to overthrow Kato, and turns to Otomo (Kitano), who miraculously survived his prison-yard stabbing. This initiates a series of elaborate double-cross plots that Kitano lays out with the same cold detachment as in his prior work. Yet since he has nothing new to add to his portrait of gangsters using every opportunity to climb the yakuza ladder, the film quickly becomes a series of de rigueur assassinations that strain to match Outrage's signature maiming-by-dental-tools scene.
Takeshi Kitano Takeshi Kitano, Toshiyuki Nishida, Ryo Kase, Tomokazu Miura, Shun Sugata, Machiko Ono, Fumiyo Kohinata, Yutaka Matsushige, Ken Mitsuishi, Hirofumi Arai Takeshi Kitano Takio Yoshida, Masayuki Mori Magnolia Pictures

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