Directed by: Takeshi Kitano. Once I was made aware that there was a sequel to the modern yakuza gore-fest Outrage, I was a little curious. I don’t recall being blown away by Outrage in the first place, and I couldn’t for the life of me remember any of the plot points, so this sequel was a bit disorienting until I kind of gave up and buckled in for the ride. As it turned out, the ride wasn’t much of a ride either. The first film had a lot of political infighting and backstabbing, but it was complemented by a fair amount of actual stabbing (and worse), and really, it was all that awful shit that rang a bell for me. I got into the first movie to indulge in some awful violence-in-cinema voyeurism, which I don’t really like to do that much. But in this movie, the violence was pretty toned-down, and I felt intimidated by the complex web of diplomatic negotiations with one or other senior Japanese badass in a suit. I can’t think of an example right now, but you know those movies that just feature a packed cast of “legendary” actors, and a huge appeal is supposed to be seeing these actors all in one place, but there’s a moment when you’re watching that you think, if a person doesn’t know and appreciate all of these grey-haired, 50+ white guys in similar costumes, then this film might be a little confusing and one-note and, well…talky? I probably just described Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Either way, that’s kind of how I felt, with only Takeshi Kitano to hold onto, knowing so little about contemporary Japanese cinema. And really, he’s such a remarkable presence that even though I only really know him from Battle Royale, it feels like he’s as concrete a presence in my mind as Tommy Lee Jones or somebody. So I guess I don’t know what my opinion on this movie is, but it does leave me with a bit of a hankering for a look at the broader yakuza genre, not to mention more of my man Takeshi.