MOVIE REVIEW: Battle Royale-2000
In 21st Japan, the country has fallen to pieces. Unemployment is at an all-time high and children have little regard for authority figures. They are unruly and the adults fear them. The government has created a game called Battle Royale. Teens are randomly selected and sent to a deserted island. They are given a map, a random weapon, clothing, food, and water and sent off into the wilderness. The children are also fitted with exploding neck collars to ward off escape attempts. The object of the game is for the teens to kill each other until there is one left, that person will be declared the “winner”. The teens have three days to complete this task. If there is more than one survivor after the three-day time span, all teens still alive will be killed, thus leaving no “winners”. The game is spearheaded by the sadistic Kitano (Takeshi Kitano); he is also a teacher at the school the teens attend. Before the teens can set out to play the game, Kitano shows them just how ruthless he can be by knocking off a few of the teens before they can even venture out. One of the students he kills is Nobu . Nobu’s best friend Nanahara (Tatsuya Fujiwara) vows that he will survive the game, and not kill anyone in the process. Nanahara also vows to protect Noriko(Aki Maeda), whom Nobu had a crush on. Aware that only one person can be declared the winner, Nanahara and Noriko must learn to trust each other and use their wits to survive. No more spoilers from me y’all.
Netflix…I speak your name. This movie is banned in many countries and is not available for purchase in the US. I have wanted to see this movie for five freaking years!!! I even pondered copping a bootleg version of off Ebay but resisted temptation. It was certainly worth the wait. A lot of films are hyped up to larger than life proportions then turn out to be real duds (i.e. Memento) but this one lives up to its reputation. It’s a brutal, no-holds barred film. What makes this movie so effective is the fact that the director used ACTUAL teens instead of 30 year olds posing as teens…a mistake Hollywood makes too often. The question of the movie is “How far is one willing to go to survive”. Would you kill your friends if your life depended on it? Tough question to answer, isn’t it? This is another film that I hope Hollyweird never puts its grimy paws on. They would screw it up by toning down the violence and give it a PG-13 rating to make it safe viewing for the masses. I wasn’t too crazy about the ending, but it does not spoil this cool flick. This movie is extremely violent, and without a doubt, not for the kiddies. In Japanese with English subtitles.
Interesting sidenote: Quentin Tarantino casted Chiaki Kuriyama as Gogo Yubari for Kill Bill V.1 after seeing her in Battle Royale.
VERDICT: 3.5 Soul Claps
Labels: Movie Reviews