Outrage Coda

 

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Things spiral out of control in Takeshi Kitano’s final chapter of the Outrage trilogy.

 

“Now what?”
“We take down the Hanabishi.”


Takeshi Kitano’s Outrage films have never been the highlight of his career. The action crime dramas centre around one key character, Otomo (Beat Takeshi), a volatile subordinate in the yakuza who’s pretty handy with a gun and likes using it. In Outrage Coda, following on from the last film, Otomo and his crew are now living in Seoul, working for Korean crime boss Chang (Tokio Kaneda) as it has become clear that the Yakuza – unified under one Hanabishi family banner – are killing off all rival subordinates.

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On the resort island of Jeju, a young yakuza named Hanada (Pierre Taki) assaults a couple of prostitutes and kills as a member of Chang’s gang. Chang sends Otomo to Japan to settle the score with the yakuza. Meanwhile, internal politics threaten to tear apart the Hanabishi family, with underboss Nishino (Toshiyuki Nishida) plotting to take the chairman title from Nomura (Ren Osugi), starting a chain of events that undoubtedly lead to even more bloodshed.

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Looking at that synopsis, you’d be forgiven for getting excited for something like this. These movies sound pretty good. There’s promise of violence, brotherhood, backstabbings, and all the good stuff you expect from the best yakuza movies. And with Takeshi Kitano as the writer-director, frankly nothing should go wrong. So why have all of the movies thus far been something of a disappointment?

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Well, I can’t quite remember the others – actually, this might be a big symptom, come to think of it – but in this case, Coda is simply too convoluted for its own good. It doesn’t try very hard to catch you up, and maybe that’s on the audience to remember, and the story focuses on so many characters it’s tough to keep track of which side each old Japanese man is on. There’s double crossing everywhere, and character motivations aren’t always clear. And because of this, you’re left not really caring about who lives or dies.

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It’s a shame because the movie has a lot of great talent behind it. Takeshi Kitano once again delivers behind the camera as well as in front of it. It’s a very good-looking film, and it’s very evident that it’s made by somebody who knows what he’s doing. The action is brutal and tastefully executed – no pun intended – and the exteriors are especially nice to look at. If only the movie was mostly this instead of bunch of elderly men yelling at each other in a weird display of masculinity. Though that’s not to say the acting isn’t great; quite the opposite. Outage Coda is perfectly cast, with a star-studded line-up of some of the top names in the genre.

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That’s why it’s a bummer that the whole thing kind of sucks. Takeshi Kitano has done way better films, as has the entire cast. The Outrage films aren’t the worst – Takakshi Miike probably has a few of those under his belt – but chances are there’s a long list of film you could be picking up right about now.

 

Verdict: There’s minimal outraging to be had here, in a film that’s too busy with everything else to focus on what we really want.

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Overall entertainment: 5/10
Violence: 7/10
Sex: Mild prostitution/10
Outrages: Very few
Codas: One
Takeshi Kitano Scale: Somewhere between Brother and the first Outrage
Kitano’s posture: Dude slouches like crazy

 


 

Outrage Coda (2017)
Also known as: アウトレイジ 最終章 (Autoreiji Saishusho)
Japanese, Korean

Director: Takeshi Kitano
Writer: Takeshi Kitano

 
CAST

Beat Takeshi – Otomo
Toshiyuki Nishida – Nishino
Nao Omori – Ichikawa
Pierre Taki – Hanada
Ren Osugi – Nomura
Sansei Shiomi – Nakata
Tatsuo Nadaka – Shiroyama
Ken Mitsuishi – Gomi
Ikuji Nakamura – Hirayama
Yutaka Matsushige – Shigeta
Hakuryu – Lee
Kanji Tsuda – Choi
Tokio Kaneda – Jang
Ittoku Kishibe – Morhishima
Taizo Harada – Maruyama
Hiroyuki Ikeuchi – Yoshioka

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