Writer: Andrew Baldwin (Screenplay) John Linson (Idea)
Starring: Jared Leto, Tadanobu Asano, Kippei Shina, Shioli Kutsuna, Emile Hirsch, Rory Cocharne
Plot: An epic set in post-WWII Japan and centered on an American former G.I. who joins the yakuza.
Runtime: 2 Hours
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Slow Drag
Story: The Outsider starts in 1954 Osaka, Nick Lowell (Leto) fresh out of prison there after helping Yakuza member Kiyoshi (Asano) gets offered a job in the notorious gang, giving him the outsider tag, he becomes an enforcer for them getting his hands dirty whenever they need someone given a message or eliminated.
Watching from within Nick sees how the two rival bosses look to try and stay ahead of each other while taking in the culture.
Thoughts on The Outsider
Characters – Nick Lowell is the outsider, an American in Japan that gets offered a job in the Yakuza to become an enforcer, even though not everyone welcomes him. He is a man of few words which helps him blend in at times being the threat to anyone that crosses the boss. Kiyoshi is the man that brings Nick into the Yakuza, he shows him the ropes keeping him in a position of safety. When it comes to the rest of the characters we are left to see how they react to having an American in the mix.
Performances – Jared Leto does the best he can with the material he has, but never gets to the heights we know he is capable off. The rest of the cast are fine, but are not on the levels needed for a gangster movie.
Story – The story follows an American and his time in the Yakuza after World War II, we have times he is accepted and others when he is frowned upon, this is going on with the battle for the power of the area in Japan between two rival gangs. The story is incredible slow paced which doesn’t bring us into everything going on and ends up feeling flat for the most part.
Action/Crime – The action is basic at best, there isn’t any strengths or originality in any of the sequences. We do spend the whole film in the crime world though, so if you are a gangster fan you might get more enjoyment from this side of things.
Settings – We are set in Japan and the time looks correct, but when it comes to the rest, it is just the generic side of things.
Final Thoughts – This isn’t the most entertaining movie, it is slow paced which doesn’t help us as an audience and by the end of the film you will not being going back through the film at any time.
Overall: Poor gangster film that just doesn’t interest for long enough.