Directed by Martin Zandvliet, the Outsider is a Netflix original movie set in post-WWII Japan, starring Jared Leto and Tadanobu Asano.
The movie tells the story of Nick Lowell, an imprisoned former American soldier that is released with the help of his cellmate, Kiyoshi. To repay Kiyoshi for his help, Lowell is forced to get involved with the Yakuza, a crime organization operating in Japan. Yakuza’s extremely violent nature will make Lowell descend in the most recondite meanders of the organization’s strict codes and dictates.
The premises for this movie were exceptionally high, and the plot seemed interesting enough; however, after watching the movie, it became quite obvious that Zandvliet tried to engender some sort of connection between the Asian underworld movies and the American culture, creating an unexpectedly monotonous and quite superficial film, which fails to dive deep into the Japanese underworld life and even to give some sort of rhythm to the movie. The film is in fact rather slow, and pervaded of cliches. In conjunction with that, the characters are not even explored well enough: Nick Lowell’s mysterious past, for example, is mentioned but not analyzed at all. We witness, then, a movie without a minimum of depth, which makes it hard to enjoy and uninteresting. The actors, though, were exceptional. Asano and Leto's performances were marvelous as well as Kutsuna's.
Overall, with a fantastic cast, setting, costumes and make up, The Outsider had all the potential to be a great and interesting film, but unfortunately it’s just a mediocre movie.