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OUTRAGE BEYOND When Japanese police dredge up a car containing the bodies of an assassinated cop and a nightclub hostess at the start of writer-director-star Takeshi Kitano’s Outrage Beyond, the evidence suggests that the powerful Sanno yakuza clan—last seen trying to rid itself of the competition in Kitano’s 2010 Outrage—has gotten a little too big for its britches, or at least for the comfort level of corrupt anti-yakuza cop Kataoka (the wonderfully oily Fumiyo Kohinata). The callow young Sanno boss Kato (Tomokazu Miura) has no respect for the old ways of power-sharing and police glad-handing, and a power shift seems in order. So Kataoka calls upon a familiar face, the renegade yakuza Otomo (Kitano), believed dead but in fact just cooling his heels in prison, and before long a new inter-clan battle royale is brewing. In this superior sequel (which benefits from, but hardly requires, knowledge of its predecessor), the deadpan Kitano plays things relatively straight, laying out the action in sleek, elegant, widescreen master shots punctuated by sudden, merciless bursts of violence. The result is a first-rate yakuza picture by a master of the genre.

OUTRAGE BEYOND When Japanese police dredge up a car containing the bodies of an assassinated cop and a nightclub hostess at the start of writer-director-star Takeshi Kitano’s Outrage Beyond, the evidence suggests that the powerful Sanno yakuza clan—last seen trying to rid itself of the competition in Kitano’s 2010 Outrage—has gotten a little too big for its britches, or at least for the comfort level of corrupt anti-yakuza cop Kataoka (the wonderfully oily Fumiyo Kohinata). The callow young Sanno boss Kato (Tomokazu Miura) has no respect for the old ways of power-sharing and police glad-handing, and a power shift seems in order. So Kataoka calls upon a familiar face, the renegade yakuza Otomo (Kitano), believed dead but in fact just cooling his heels in prison, and before long a new inter-clan battle royale is brewing. In this superior sequel (which benefits from, but hardly requires, knowledge of its predecessor), the deadpan Kitano plays things relatively straight, laying out the action in sleek, elegant, widescreen master shots punctuated by sudden, merciless bursts of violence. The result is a first-rate yakuza picture by a master of the genre.

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