The trailer for Jared Leto’s new Netflix movie was just released — about 24 hours ago — and many have already been quick to call it problematic. According to the grisly trailer for The Outsider, the film stars Leto as an American living in post-WWII Japan who, after being released from prison, becomes embedded in the Yakuza, Japan’s organized crime syndicate. The film has come under intense scrutiny purportedly being centered around Asian culture, but starring a white man.
The trailer itself doesn’t actually do much by way of introducing a plot as much as giving us a glimpse at the gratuitous violence we can expect from the film. The trailer features Leto beating a guy to death with a typewriter, slashing a guy’s throat with a knife, stabbing a man with what appears to be a katana, and shooting a lot of people. But while the film deliberately appropriates parts of Japanese culture for the purpose of telling this story about a white man, the film also appears to depict Leto’s character as a white savior of sorts. Yeah, it’s…a lot.
Just prior to the violent typewriter beating, Leto’s character is seemingly trying to reason with another white American, who has a very racist outlook toward Japanese people and culture. He says to Leto, “I don’t give a shit about their traditions or whatever the fuck it is that you’re to try and explain to me. We won.”
Here’s the full trailer for The Outsider:
The film seems to by trying to do a lot — and whatever it is, we’re not so sure it’s working.
And naturally, the trailer’s release did not go over well on Twitter.
Just take a look at these tweets:
The Outsider, from director Martin Zandvliet, will begin streaming on Netflix a couple weeks from now — on March 9th.