The Outsider is an American thriller crime drama movie released on Netflix, directed by Martin Zandvliet and written by Andrew Baldwin, starring Jared Leto, Tadanobu Asano, Rory Cochrane, Shiori Kutsuna, Emile Hirsch and Kippei Shiina.
Generally you would come across a video, trailer or a movie may be depicting a life full of struggle and tensions when he is exposed to a foreign land. But ‘The Outsider’ as the title says, “a brotherhood unlike any other, in a foreign land”, is entirely a different plot as compared to the aforesaid possibility. Oscar-Winning actor Jared Leto (Nick) and Tadanovu Asano (Kyoski) both being from a different place and environment and totally unknown to each other’s conduct and nature, end up creating an unbreakable bond of brotherhood and trust, Nick sustaining the bond till the end abiding by the oath he Sworn. Can a gaijin (outsider) ever be trusted like family, or will his motives ultimately be self-serving? It’s an interesting question in the story?
Let’s have a look on what this, an overall average movie portrays!
This era piece takes the chameleonic actor into an interesting historical era, as he portrays an American soldier jailed in postwar Japan, who enters the dark world of the yakuza, adopting their way of life in repayment for his freedom, after he’s released with the help of his Yakuza cellmate. Now free, he sets out to earn their respect and repay his debt while navigating the dangerous criminal underworld.
The movie approaches storytelling interestingly as there is a plot that covers most of the movies runtime but that story is being told second to Nick’s (Leto) journey in the beginning. Almost the entire movie is centred around Nick’s experiences within the Yakuza as he earns their respect with the underlying plot developing in the background. For the entire first act there isn’t much of a core story developing, it’s heavily focused on setting up Nick and the figures within the Yakuza and getting all of the relationships established. As time goes on the main plot begins to gain traction and form around Nick to where his personal story is tied directly to it by the third act. The problem with the first act is that Nick on his own isn’t that interesting of a protagonist. We don’t know a lot about his past and are thrown into the Yakuza just as quickly as he is so there isn’t much time to connect with him initially. But as the film starts to focus on his story in combination with the inner workings of the Yakuza and how he adjusts to their morals and values that’s when his character gets a little more intriguing.
Nick has a front seat to the growing turmoil between the Shiramatsu gang and the competing Seizu gang, whose turf war fails to create tension itself to the story. At first it’s a disagreement over the port of Osaka; later it’s about a joint investment in radios.The film also tries to show a number of yakuza traditions and rituals in a glorified, glossed up and aesthetic manner, but never quite succeeds in getting under the skin of the characters themselves. Early on, Kiyoshi is shown telling another member of the family that the gaijin (one of foreign descent) does not mean a thing to him, and that he himself will always be loyal to his family and to the oath he has taken. Merely a few scenes later, when he learns that Lowell has been sleeping with his sister, he calls him a brother and has a drink with him. So much for loyalty!
What hasn’t made it a THUMBS UP?
The entire story is soaked in blood — shed both for honour and for revenge — and there’s plenty of action scenes to try and live up to the genre.
“The Outsider” falls into a pit of boredom somewhere, like first half held back the interest.
“The Outsider” proves to be even clumsy with brutality, aside from a scene where Nick and others ceremoniously, and disturbingly, chop some of their fingers off, as in one of “The Outsiders” stone-faced presentations of yakuza rituals.
Not exactly a thumbs up but yes a one-time watch ,with a 3.5/5 rating.
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