Battle Royale (2000)

battle royale poster 2000 movie
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Action packed, evil kids

Might be too intense for some

Movie Info

Movie Name: Battle Royale

Studio: Toei Company

Genre(s): Action/Adventure

Release Date(s): December 16, 2000

MPAA Rating: Not Rated

battle-royale-class-2

Ok…anyone else want to disagree with me?

Class 3-B has been selected by for the BR-Act.  The forty students (plus two exchange students) wake up on an island and learn from their teacher Kitano (Takeshi Kitano) that the collars around their neck will explode if they are triggered.  In an act to curb the student rebellion, the Battle Royale has students kill each other…there can be only one winner.  Set out upon an island with designated zones, the students are given weapons…something as complex as a machine gun or as simple as a pan lid.  Now the battle is on and in three days there will be a new winner.

Battle Royale (or Batoru rouaiaru) was directed by Kinji Fukasaku and based on the novel by Koushun Takami. In Japan the movie was marketed to viewers over the age of fifteen, but still controversy followed there and all over the world. The ultra-violence being portrayed by teenager had the film banned in some places. It wasn’t released in the U.S. officially until recently but it was pretty easy to find copies. The movie was championed by Quentin Tarantino who even cast Gogo from Kill Bill Volume 1 with Chiaki Kuryama (who played Takako Chigusa) from Battle Royale.

battle-royale-girl

Boo!

Battle Royale continues to gain in popularity and has a bit of Stephen King’s The Running Man in it. The novel and movie borrow ideas from the recently created reality shows also. Recently, Battle Royale has made more waves in the U.S. with the release of it on Blu-Ray and the very similar themed Hunger Games series written by Suzanne Collins (who denies hearing of Battle Royale).

Battle Royale has a huge cast. Unlike the novel which is more divided by characters, the movie does a great job identify the main characters and helping you reestablish who they are through flash backs and inserted scenes when they take the screen again. With the large cast, Battle Royale is worth watching more than once since you get more of the characters and recognize them easier with a second viewing.

battle-royale-lighthouse

Someone is going to have to clean this all up

What Battle Royale really does is that it gets violent. Unlike the PG-13 rated Hunger Games, these kids are out for blood. They aren’t afraid to cut off someone’s head, shoot them with arrows, or just gun them down. The movie also has more characters so there are more options open to explore. Some characters commit suicide, others die from tragic accidents. It is easier to explore how children would react in a situation like this.

Battle Royale is an entertaining, fun film. It is dangerous and tense and really brutal. The contrast of fun and danger is probably what makes people uncomfortable around Battle Royale. You shouldn’t want to watch an endgame regardless of the age of the contestants, but we are voyeurs and spectators so we watch. Battle Royale was followed by Battle Royale II: Requiem in 2003 (or Battle Royale II: Revenge depending on the version).

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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