21 September 2016 | zetes
The plot is largely a repeat of the first film, but, for whatever reason, I felt it was superior
While many of the plot points of this first sequel to Outlaw Gangster VIP are almost exactly the same as the original, this one is a much stronger film. That may sound a bit odd, but I think the direction and script are stronger, and maybe just because I felt I knew the protagonist I was more involved in his story at this point. Whatever the reason, I'd rank this one high amongst the many yakuza movies I've seen. The film picks up a few months after the first, with Tetsuya Watari, having healed his wounds, traveling north to find Chieko Matsubara and Yumeko, the wife of his gangster friend. In pretty much the same way (defending a defenseless woman), he gets drawn back into the yakuza world. This one features very strong performances throughout, and recognizable actors include Hideaki Nitani (whom you'll recognize from several Arrow titles), Kunie Tanaka and Meiko Kaji (who performs a flamenco dance number!). Izumi Ashikawa plays the woman Watari saves at the beginning of the film. He meets her again as a prostitute in Yokohama. She has a couple of really touching scenes opposite Tanaka, who plays the crippled brother of a gangster Watari killed in the first film. She's excellent.