Outrage – 2/5 Movie Reviews by Ry!

Outrage – 2/5 Gangster movies are always those kinds of movies that tend to either be built on great characterization or good storytelling.  Obvious elements of gruesome violence, villainy and a change of rooting for the bad guys happen, but if its develop with the main two, it can be a wonderful treat to watch.  This film adds some of that, with a foreign twist.  It is a Japanese film that focuses on the layers within a Yakuza family.  Starting off with intriguing potential, this film boils down to obvious backstabbing clichés and standard character models.

The movie follows the struggle for power amongst a group of Tokyo Yakuza clans.   After the boss of one the major syndicates orders his lieutenant to bring a rogue gang of traffickers in line, the trail of the blood and retribution is on.  This leads into a spiraling of two gangs, as backstabbing, alliances and fight for power come to the forefront.  This movie really doesn’t have any standout performances from this basic premise.  Being a foreign film, knowing what is or isn’t good acting can fall to the wayside if you’re not use to reading while watching.  Some foreign films do a superb job in hiding this (Pans Labyrinth and Amelie), but this film doesn’t even try to present and good character treat, except one.  The character of Otomo is pretty much (being the main character) the most developed character in the movie.  He has to go out and perform his orders with precision, without course, attitude of any mistakes.  Much of the backstabbing happens around his initial actions around Tokyo, but the good thing is you get the perspective from his character, which helps bring some focus to the over layered plot.  Everyone else pretty much is standard gangster characters.  You have the main boss, his cavalry against the minor bosses and other minor ones in corrupt cops and villainous gangster.  Some other general things you find in gangster films are found here (like hookers, love interest and middle men).   The characters keep the story going since they are presented as plot devices, but everything gets lost in the convoluted twisting and turning throughout.

Leading on with all the twist, backstabbing and ongoing gang activities, this movie is all over the place in direction.  You see from the beginning there is an emphasis on the in’s and out’s of the Yakuza, but it starts to grow outrageously by involving subplots of partnership, pacts between brothers, and side businesses such as drug dealing and casinos.  There is nothing wrong to adding elements like these to a movie, but when it starts to stack upon each other with no real focus, the direction just becomes flimsy, losing any kind of focal point.  Because of this, all the gruesome fighting, shooting and torture scenes turn boring.  This basically causes when you see something vile, you don’t react like you would if it was subtle and/or developed upon a single or strong tone.   There was zero to no music, so no addition from that to develop any kind of mood.

Overall, this movie started off with a potential of depth to a syndicate not known to many, but ended up filled with obvious plot points and general gangster related progression.  With these, it basically turned into just another mob film with a foreign tag on it. There were no real allusion to character development, as everything got lost in the many plot lines and predictable climax.  There were pretty gruesome scenes, and Otomo had intriguing moments, but in the end, you really don’t care.  At most, I recommend this for fans of foreign films and gangster style films, but really you can skip this for a rental or TV showing.

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