Outrage (Blu-ray release 2010-12-3) marked director Takeshi Kitano’s return to gangster movie.  In the quest for power and money, gangsters double cross each other and face violent deaths.  Although some people may hope for more character development or more drama in a gangster movie, this one is more like a slasher movie, but it is not necessarily a bad thing.  Instead of having innocent people getting killed randomly without good reasons, this movie has bad guys getting killed in gruesome manners for good reasons that are tied to the plot.  The creative instruments of killing include dental equipment, chopsticks, and a combination of a rope and a vehicle.  The Japanese gangsters also look cool in this movie.  They all dress in black suits, and drive black cars.  They have a convention of cutting their own or their subordinate’s finger off to make serious apologies, although this act is shown to be less useful than one may think.  A unique character in this movie is a cop who gets money from the gangsters and help them.  Not everyone likes this movie, but I do, and it was a commercial success in Japan.

Outrage Beyond (Blu-ray release 2013-4-12) continues the plot, and involve other gangster groups.  Double crossing continues between and within gangster groups.  A finger is cut off.  People get killed, including those who survived the first movie.  The cop in the first movie plays a critical role here.  Instead of catching bad guys by himself, he tries to convince the different gangsters to betray and attack the leaders of the group that has grown too powerful, even arranging the early release of a prisoner to achieve his goals.  This aspect is quite unconventional among the gangster movies I’ve watched, so I like it too.  It is also interesting to see that enemies in the first movie become friends in this one, because they were both betrayed by the same group previously.  Strangely, this movie shows a lot of restraint in the number of violent killing scenes.  In the first movie, the women associated with the gangsters were killed too, but in this one, a woman is unharmed, so I regard this as progress.  In fact many killings can only be heard but cannot be seen.  Note: unlike sequels of many other movies, to comprehend this one the first movie must be watched.

Although Outrage Beyond was meant to be the last movie, it did even better in the box office.  I look forward to the third one.

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