ContactSales: Celluloid Dreams, Paris ([email protected])
Premiere: Venice Film Festival (Competition), 3 Sep 2012. Theatrical release: Japan, 6 Oct 2012.
Presented by Outrage Beyond Production Committee (Bandai Visual, TV Tokyo, Omnibus Japan, Warner Bros. Pictures Japan, Office Kitano) (JP). Produced by Office Kitano (JP). Producers: Mori Masayuki, Yoshida Takio.
Script: Kitano Takeshi. Photography: Yanagijima Katsumi. Editing: Ota Yoshinori. Music: Suzuki Keiichi. Production design: Isoda Norihiro. Art direction: Shibata Hirohide. Costume design: Kurosawa Kazuko. Otomo costume design: Yamamoto Yoji. Sound: Kureishi Yoshifumi, Rizawa Akira, Shibasaki Kenji. Special effects: Hatori Hiroyuki. Visual effects: Sadahara Yoshifumi.
Cast: "Beat" Takeshi [Takeshi Kitano] (Otomo), Nishida Toshiyuki (Nishino Kazue, Hanabishi deputy head), Miura Tomokazu (Kato Minoru, Sanno chairman), Kohinata Fumiyo (Kataoka, detective), Kase Ryo (Ishihara Ideto, Sanno deputy head), Kiritani Kenta (Shima), Arai Hirofumi (Ono), Nakano Hideo (Kimura, former Murase deputy head), Matsushige Yutaka (Shigeta, detective), Shiomi Sansei (Nakata, Hanabishi under-deputy head), Nakao Akira (Tomita, Sanno old guard), Koyama Shigeru (Fuse, Hanabishi chairman), Takahashi Katsunori (Jo).
Outrage Beyond アウトレイジ ビヨンド
Contemporary black crime comedy
2012, colour, 2.35:1, 111 mins
Directed by Kitano Takeshi (北野武)
By Derek Elley
Tue, 11 September 2012, 09:30 AM (HKT)
Kitano Takeshi finally powers back, in a well-crafted sequel to the lame Outrage. Festivals, plus some niche theatrical potential.
Tokyo, the present day. In the five years since the death of clan head Sekiuchi during a power struggle, the Sanno has become even more powerful under its new head Kato Minoru (Miura Tomokazu), Sekiuchi's former deputy, and his acolytes Ishihara Ideto (Kase Ryo) and onetime driver/bodyguard Funaki. The Sanno now plans to move into the international financial sector, with the help of the Foreign Ministry. The Sanno old guard, like Tomita (Naka Akira), dislike Kato's new ways, and especially the arrogance of young deputy head Ishihara; Tomita also suspects that Kato and Funaki planned the death of Sekiuchi. Detective Kataoka (Kohinata Fumiyo), of the Organised Crime Department, is ordered by Kato, who has him in his pay, to quickly wrap up a case involving two dead bodies in the harbour and links with a government minister that could embarrass the Sanno. Meanwhile, Kataoka has his own plan to instigate a yakuza war between the Sanno and Osaka's Hanabishi clan, and uses Tomita as his pawn. He also visits Otomo ("Beat" Takeshi) - once banished by the Sanno and presumed dead after the power struggle - in prison where he's been secretly kept alive by the police, and tries to persuade him to take on Kato and Ishihara. The Hanabishi and Sanno, however, are secret allies, and Tomita ends up dead. After Kataoka engineers Otomo's release from prison, he brings him together with his onetime enemy, Kimura (Nakano Hideo), former deputy head of the Murase clan. Kataoka hopes that Otomo and Kimura's mutual dislike of the Sanno will unite them against it. The problem is that Otomo seems curiously apathetic to settle old scores, despite the fact that it was Ishihara's betrayal that landed him in prison.
After his lame return to the yakuza genre two years ago with Outrage アウトレイジ (2010), KITANO Takeshi 北野武 appears to have done considerable thinking, to positive effect. Where Outrage was both tired and unimaginative, Outrage Beyond アウトレイジ ビヨンド (2012) has the feel of a fresh start, recapturing some of the 65-year-old writer-director's earlier verve and benefiting from his extra years. Though it uses an almost identical technical crew and many of the same actors, this sequel, set five years after the initial gangland slaughter, looks and feels totally different.
The basic subject-matter is, of course, the same: yakuza shenanigans and double-dealings as clan fights clan, along with police and government semi-collusion, all observed by Kitano with an ironic humour and a world-weary view that the whole game will never really end. But in Beyond the dialogue (and even the cussing) is sharp rather than repetitive, the violence pointed rather than pointless, and the plot, though complex and name-heavy, laid out with a clarity that engenders tension rather than confusion. When the guns start blazing in the second half — strikingly emphasised in the sound mix — there's a genuine feeling of drama rather than just overgrown boys playing around with hardware.
More than ever, Kitano's own character, who re-appears half-an-hour in, is the joker in the pack, a taciturn, beaten-up old yakuza who doesn't respect all the phoney etiquette, calls an idiot an idiot, and has very simple solutions for complex problems. His scenes with two grunting bullies played by veterans NISHIDA Toshiyuki 西田敏行 and SHIOMI Sansei 塩見三省 are among the film's highlights, while his relationship with onetime enemy Kimura, beautifully acted by NAKANO Hideo 中野英雄, forms the emotional centre of the essentially all-male movie — two smalltime clan leaders with a common enemy and hard-won mutual respect that doesn't need pages of dialogue to describe.
KOHINATA Fumiyo 小日向文世's bent cop, the only really memorable character of the original, is again a delight, apparently immune from payback as he gleefully pits yakuza against yakuza; his role this time is enhanced by a dry, comic partnership with a straighter fellow detective, nicely played by MATSUSHIGE Yutaka 松重豊. The most theatrical role is given to KASE Ryo 加瀬亮 (the gas-cylinder businessman in Sketches of Kaitan City 海炭市叙景 (2010)), as a screaming, psychotic wannabe who meets a deftly staged demise; on the quieter side, as clan heads, MIURA Tomokazu 三浦友和 (the father in The Taste of Tea 茶の味 (2003) and doctor in the Always: Sunset on Third Street ＡＬＷＡＹＳ 三丁目の夕日 (2005) trilogy) and 83-year-old KOYAMA Shigeru 神山繁 are both solid and believable, especially the former as an uneasy, penny-pinching Macbeth figure.
Apart from the introduction of a South Korean gangster character, which doesn't have much point, Kitano's script is well shaped and clicks into place. Though shot by the same d.p. as Outrage, the film has a much more atmospheric look, with an old-style, diffused flavour to the widescreen images, especially at night, that makes it look like a real movie.