One of the latest additions to Netflix’s slate of original content is rather outside the box. They are proving that they have bigger ambitions than documentaries, anime and baking shows with this one. ‘The Outsider’, stars Jared Leto as a former prisoner of war embroiled in the Japanese crime world.

We see Leto’s character go on a journey through this film and it begins from the intro. Nick shows character and a strong will despite his squalid conditions in jail. The hardship he faces in jail make us sympathise with him. We see though, a driven look in his eye, something in it says: ‘I’m coming back’.


Jared Leto is a badass in this but you get the impression that those tendencies are dormant until his situation brings them out. Leto’s vampiric look and demeanour add to an already theatrical affair. It is all neon lights, slicked back hair and glaring gangsters dressed to kill.

There are a lot of parallels to be drawn with the Bioshock series. The main character is a fish out of water who finds his inner malevolence bubbling to the surface, the catalyst is his new environment. The time period and style make it feel yet more like Bioshock. Not only that, but its themes of metamorphosis.


There is a lot of great acting in ‘The Outsider’. Nick’s partner in Yakuza crime is particularly good. The pacing felt a little bit off at times but boring sections were brief. There were a lot of great techniques in this movie. There is a kind of Shakespearean tragedy feel to it. Nick and his girlfriend have a doomed love. Dramatic irony is used as we know that it will bring disaster.

Jared Leto in The Outsider

Another clever technique is used with the sumo. They are used as a metaphor for another kind of struggle, a political one between the mafia families. While the sumo wrestling match is happening on the platform, leaders from the opposing Japanese crime gangs negotiate in the stands. When their argument comes to an end, one sumo launches the other out of the ring.

This, as well as the character development from prisoner to mafia boss, makes for a satisfying watch. For more articles on entertainment as well as sport and fitness, subscribe! A share would be greatly appreciated too.