Takeshi Kitano takes on the Yakuza Genre yet again for the first time in ten years, since is English speaking flick, “Brother”, rexamining the Japanese Brotherhood in a slice of Crazy Yakuza Soldier Life. Kitano, a man that wears many hats, Wrote, Directed, Edited and Stars in “Outrage”, a Epic-sodic Yakuza Flick that does not set to reinvent the genre and focuses on the power struggles between families. Becoming so intertwined in bloodshed and apologies, that it is pretty hard at first to keep track of who’s who, but once the flick finds its rhythm it all comes together violently and darkly humorous, with each and every vengeful scene. There might be nothing new this time in this Kitano Yakuza flick, but instead he seems to be having so much fun winking at the audience, as the death toll rises and showcasing all of the strange ritualistic and so-called honor bound ways of the Yakuza Families.
Kitano chooses to get all “Exploitation Flick” on us, with many scenes that resemble another Japanese Autuer, Takeshi Miike. He has shown violence in his past films, but “Outrage” tops them all. And, I might add, this is a super duper great thing for fans of over-the-top violence and inventive fun ways of inflicting pain and suffering on various charaters in movies. The individual scenes may take precedent over the plot and and slight story, but it little to be concerned about, while we watch this grand opera of violence play out to its inevitable climax and denouement.
So, while the flick may feel a bit disjointed and episodic, it still works for me, as the all of the sums added up to one hell of a killer-gangster-vengeful slice of Yakuza life! A life that most of us luckily will never ever experience except in a movies and books and Manga comics. Beat Takeshi’s (Kitano’s acting nom de plume), plays the aging Yakuza Boss, Otomo, with a quiet and restrained ferocity. Do not mess with him! I repeat, do not mess with him! His faciel ticks and contorted expressions covey more at any given moment in each and every scene, than most dialog does in other Yakuza Genre type Flicks.
This Flick will appease the Ultra-Violent Flick crowd, the Art Film crowd and any crowd who enjoys a good old fashioned Crime Genre Movie. It hit the theaters for a limited run today in Los Angeles and other cities and can also be found streaming on VOD as I write this review. This Yakuza Flick gets the Dick Hollywood Seal of Approval, and of course you know boys and girls you know that Ol’ Dick Hollywood will never ever lead you astray. Well at least most of the time anyway…
So Says Dick Hollywood!