Takeshi Kitano‘s latest film, Outrage, is a brutally violent yakuza film that deals with betrayal and self-preservation. It’s something that not everyone is going to be able to stomach, but fans of blood soaked revenge films done gangland style are going to eat it up. There’s plenty to enjoy in Outrage. It’s dark, angry and mean and those looking for a happy ending will be disappointed. Outrage is the kind of play-it-forward filmmaking that we don’t see too often and I applaud it for that. It sticks to its crime roots and provides you with an interesting tale of gangland killing and murder.
I’m not a huge watcher of yakuza films, so I came into this one not sure what to expect. I knew it was going to be violent and I knew that the story would probably jump around between various gangs as they slowly kill off each other. Outrage is a basic tale of self-preservation. There’s one top boss who essentially orders everyone else around. He tells various families to kill the others, hoping to clean up whoever he doesn’t like. No one is to be trusted, not even your most loyalist friend.
It’s not just brutal in the way it depicts violence, but also in the way it approaches the honest truth of being able to trust no one in modern times like today. It’s rare when you discover a film this unrelenting. It rarely has a happy moment of truth. Everything is slimy and two-faced and every single character in the film is guaranteed to stab someone in the back before the credits roll.
Director Takeshi Kitano is no stranger to the genre and Outrage is just proof that he can continue to deliver the bloody goods. This isn’t the most artistic film on the block, but a lot of the scenery is peacefully balanced to the murder and mutilation that is for sure to follow.
Outrage isn’t going to wow audiences for its cleverly crafted story, but it’s going to keep your attention for the entire running time because it constantly keeps you on edge. You never know who is going to live and who is going to die and that benefits the film greatly. Its uncomfortable violence even managed to make me squirm in my seat a few times, which is a rarity, so for that it gets my approval!
The 1080p video transfer is sharp and grainy. It’s not the most colorful film to come from Magnolia Home Entertainment, but the colors that are present are very strong and detailed. I did however notice on more than one occasion brief moments of blurred out/distorted detail. It was only for a few seconds at a time, but it flawed an otherwise perfect transfer.
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is your standard affair. Surrounding gunfire and explosions take over the back channels while the gritty mafia talk is taken care of on the front channels. It’s an immersive experience, but it could benefit from an increase in intensity for the surrounding effects. The track felt a little too quiet.
The disc comes with the following bonus features.
- Cast Interview – Making Outrage (HD)
- Outrage Inside Out (SD)
- Cast Panel Interview (SD)
- Premiere Q&A (SD)
- Cannes “Red Carpet” Premiere with Takeshi Kitano (SD)
- US Trailer (HD)
- International TV Spots (HD)
- Also from Magnolia Home Entertainment (HD)
Outrage is merely an exercise for director Takeshi Kitano. He set out to make a violent yakuza mob film and that is exactly what Outrage is. It’s got everything you want in this type of film. There’s action, violence and double-crossing. You don’t get too much time to really invest into the characters, which is a shame, but it works on a very basic level and I was fine watching Outrage on a basic level. I wasn’t looking for anything deeper, but if you want to break it down more you can. It talks a lot about trust and how that’s basically a thing of the past.
There isn’t much honor in today’s society. No one follows the codes that used to be kept sacred. Everyone is out for their own, in forms of money, power, sex and drugs. Outrage flat out tells it how it is, leaving some people with a cold dose of reality.
The Blu-Ray looks good for 90% of the film, with a few moments of juddered detail. The audio track is of standard quality and the special features are fine, but most are presented in standard definition, which is a letdown. It’s a good package for fans of the genre and it’ll make for one hell of a rental if you’re looking for some gruesome executions.