For several decades, Takeshi Kitano has specialized in films about the precarious interplay between Yakuza gangsters.
He's become so enmeshed in the milieu that one wonders whether he's forgotten about the rest of us. "Beyond Outrage," a sequel to 2010's "Outrage," plays like a movie made for Takeshi devotees and super fans of the genre at the expense of everyone else.
It's filled with static shots of gangsters and police officers sporting sleek suits as they sit in nondescript rooms and issue abstract threats. The monotony is interrupted by the occasional cinematic flourish, sporadic reminders of this filmmaker's gifted eye for incorporating sterile modern imagery into stylized noirish settings.
Takeshi, who also wrote the script, reprises the part of Otomo, a Yakuza who is freed from jail and propelled directly into a struggle for control between powerful families and the police.
There's a clever fight scene centered on an elevator and the screenplay makes great use of a pitching machine as torture device.
Otherwise, the movie strips the genre down to its essence -- macho men posturing over nonsense -- and sits there satisfied, failing to offer much in the way of entertainment value.
Directed by Takeshi Kitano
Starring Takeshi Kitano, Toshiyuki Nishida, Tomokazu Miura