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Though a monotonous and somewhat ineffective sequel to the 2010 yakuza thriller “Outrage,” “Beyond Outrage” is a must-see for Takeshi Kitano (aka Beat Takeshi) fans.

Things aren’t quite as they were at the end of the first film. Set five years after “Outrage,” it turns out Kitano’s character, an aging, deceptively laid-back killer named Otomo, survived what had appeared to be a fatal prison stabbing.

A key adversary, Kimura (Hideo Nakano), whose face Otomo slashed in one of many moments of elegantly orchestrated mayhem, is now an ally.

Police detective Kataoka (Fumiyo Kohinata) looked like a crooked cop the first time around. Now it seems he had been trying to set two crime syndicates against one another and bring them down by winning the trust (as well as abuse) of yakuza bosses. His constant praise of his own cleverness might be worse than corruption.

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It’s terribly easy to get lost in the sequel’s seemingly ceaseless exposition. This is a story largely made up of scenes of men talking in offices, but without the delicious and satirical sense of a whole-cloth gangster world set apart by its own rhythms and internalized rituals of violence — something Kitano is very good at capturing.

Violence, some of it quite cruel, eventually comes, but the really interesting stuff in this film is in isolated character moments: the way Otomo tries to brush off a prostitute sent as a gift, or the way Kimura and Otomo patch up old grievances with muted chivalry.

Tom Keogh:

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