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Battle Royale: Director's Cut (Collector's

A movie directed by Kinji Fukasaku

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42 Students, Three Days, One Survivor, Barely Any Rules

  • Apr 18, 2007
"Battle Royale" become a cult favorite in many corners of the world. Fukasaku wanted this movie to be viewed by all ages, but putting its gory depictions of death and blood into consideration the ratings would not allow it. The film has provoked outrage, and I think this was the intent. Children are viewed as being innocent, yet here, we see them killing each other in gruesome ways, with or without remorse. Being that I only seen this twice but on my third watch it still gets me.

As good as this is there are plot holes to it, especially near the ending. Some of the dialogue is too melodramatic and "cheesy", but it did most certainly not bring down the film's brilliance. But what it was missing most of all was character development. There's some fine acting, and some bad acting, but the main characters all acted well and held up this film. Shuya Nanahara (Tatsuya Fujiwara), Noriko Nakagawa (Aki Maeda) and Shougo Kawada (Taro Yamamoto) are actually given a back story, motivations, and their desires for surviving the Battle Royale. But the other 39 students are not complete strangers to the viewer. Supporting character Mitsuko Souma (Kou Shibasaki) is given an in depth biography of who she really is, rather than just a cunning huntress out for revenge. In the Special Edition DVD, there is an extra scene containing a flashback to her childhood, depicting of how horrible her childhood was, and what caused her to act the way she acted in the movie and the novel. The other cast members did a superb job on bringing their characters to life. Indeed the characters are such familiar types that we are able to learn a great deal about them, though we may only see them for five seconds, because we have all come across them before in our own lives. There are the popular girls, the outcasts, bullies, jocks, the nerd who had more gel in his hair than The Fonz, and that one promiscuous girl that your mother told you to stay away from. This quick characterization works perfectly in the film and is enhanced by the performances of the young actors and actresses who actually look and behave like a real class.

I believe the initial intent of this film was to be a satire, possibly on the way in which Japanese culture views children and authority, but having no experience of the Japanese culture, I cannot do more than speculate. The extreme situation brings out the characters, and with forty of the children on the island, there is a lot to take in with their own story, or at least a strong personality. However, despite its faults, "Battle Royale" is an insight into humanity, and its darker side. We question whether we could kill our friends, but this film does make you wonder what would happen if you were in such a situation. "Battle Royale" is often misunderstood and it isn't mindlessly violent, but provocatively violent. The fact that children are those involved adds to the weight of them film tremendously. One to watch if your interested.

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More Battle Royale reviews
review by . March 30, 2012
posted in ASIANatomy
Finally! Blu-ray BATTLE ROYALE: It Just Doesn't Get Any Better Than This!
   So much has been written about the film.  So much has been said.  So much has been debated, discussed, dissected, and so much has been praised or insulted or misunderstood.  Those of us who celebrate film will always owe a special debt to the people at Anchor Bay: for the first time since it was released, BATTLE ROYALE is now being made available – uncensored, uncut, unrated – in America.       No doubt that BATTLE ROYALE’s Blu-ray …
review by . September 07, 2009
posted in ASIANatomy
          Kinji Fukasaki’s “BATTLE ROYALE” (Batoru Rowaiaru, 2000) is the type of film whose reputation precedes it. The film sparked such controversy and almost became banned from its native Japan. Its hype was far-reaching that when the movie reached America, it was even proclaimed the ‘movie of the decade’. I’m not sure whether I can agree with that claim but one thing’s for sure; Japanese filmmakers had the guts …
review by . August 08, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Class, today's assignment is to kill your fellow students.
Battle Royale is a theatrical adaptation of the Japanese novel of the same name.  The film takes place in a near future Japan under the rule of a ultra-conservative government.  In order to keep the kids in line, a class is randomly selected to participate in a Battle Royale amongst themselves.  The rules are simple.  They most kill each other until there is only one survivor.  In order to keep the game moving, the students are rigged with an explosive collar and the necklace …
Quick Tip by . October 28, 2009
Fantastic film with Takeshi Kitano. While violent, it's relatively mild when compared to Martyrs and the gore porn films making the rounds.
Quick Tip by . October 14, 2009
I don't know very much about cult Japanese gore films but this movie really makes me want to look into it. SO GOOD!
review by . May 09, 2009
Battle Royale...What more is there to say about this film? Every since I saw it on VCD a few  of years ago I've been a huge mark of this picture. I have the novel (which is a real tome and goes into gory detail about the entire ordeal) and the manga that was a spin-off/tie-in to the movie. The film and the novel are a little bit different from each other but they're both great. Words can't describe how much I love this picture.  It's a great movie that has a strong political statement …
review by . July 08, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
This is a film with an extraordinarily flimsy and unrealistic premise. It violates its own rules and internal logic. It is, essentially, a great big snuff-film.    And I really liked it.    There's not a lot you can say about this film, really. 42 middle school kids, most of them played by actors who either actually are, or at least look close to, the ages of the characters are hauled out to an island and told to kill each other until only one is left. This …
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With the Japanese currently leading the way in thought-provoking cinematic violence, it's only fitting that Kinji Fukasaku'sBattle Royaleis being touted as aClockwork Orangefor the 21st century. Based on the novel by Koshun Takami, the film opens with a series of fleeting images of unruly Japanese schoolchildren, whose bad behavior provides a justification for the "punishments" that will ensue. Once the prequel has been dispensed with, the classmates are drugged and awaken on an island where they find they have been fitted with dog collars that monitor their every move. Instructed by their old teacher ("Beat" Takeshi) with the aid of an upbeat MTV-style video, they are told of their fate: after an impartial lottery they have been chosen to fight each other in a three-day, no-rules contest, the "Battle Royale." Their only chance of survival is through the death of all their classmates.

Some pupils embrace their mission with zeal, while others simply give up or try to become peacemakers and revolutionaries. However, the ultimate drive for survival comes from the desire to protect the one you love. Battle Royale works on many different levels, highlighting the authorities' desperation to enforce law and order and the alienation caused by the generation gap. Whether you consider the film an important social commentary or simply watch it for the adrenaline-fueled violence, this is set to become cult viewing for the computer game ...

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Director: Kinji Fukasaku
DVD Release Date: June 15, 2004
Runtime: 122 minutes
Studio: Toei
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