Battle Royale – Interesting Hunger Gamesesque Film

Rating (3 out of 5)

This is an older movie, I kept meaning to watch but just did not commit the time. I am glad I found a little time to watch Battle Royale (BR).

This is a Japanese film, so one reason I had to commit time is there are subtitles. Not a big deal, just means you have to have focus on the screen all the time.

The story is this; a 9th grade class, per the Battle Royale Act, have to battle until there is only one person left. In this case, the BR is on an island. The have 3 days, if there isn’t just 1 person left standing, they are all killed by a small explosive device that . Unlike Hunger Games, these kids don’t know they are entered into the contest. They are abducted during what they think is a school field trip, and wake up on the island.

They are informed of the rules, by a video. The students are issued duffel bags, which have maps, water, rations, flashlight and 1 weapon/device. Some of the weapons are good and some not. For example, one of our heroes has a cooking lid, which would be not so good. One item I thought was interesting, is that all of the kids took their book bag and also the duffel bag. I didn’t understand why they took the book bag.

The interaction of the kids, and how they decided to kill was interesting. There is a kitchen scene with about 6 girls, and they get along until there is a triggering event, and then a shot out occurs. That scene was most excellent.

They did explore some of the back stories of the characters. The one girl who was exposed to a pedophile in her flashback, gave you an indication of why she was so strong and independent. I was hoping she would die, but after the back story I was rooting for her.

The Japanese movies tend to get a bit lovey/melodramatic for me, and this was no different just because the kids were killing each other. Someone dies confessing his love for the girl that just shot him. The individual who re-entered these games (another of the heroes) had a love story background from his time in the BR.

The other part that was a bit of a let down for me was the end. While having one of the heroes die was a nice touch, I thought the BR coordinator staying behind and interacting with the 3 survivors was odd. I was hoping for a bit more Japanese tragedy than the Hollywood ending we received.

It was fun to watch and look forward to watching BR 2.