Directed By: Kinji Fukasaku
Release Date: March 23, 2001
Running Time: 113 minutes
Horror Type: Genocide
Sex? - Nope. But you don't notice it anyway.
Gore? - Indeed.
Momel's Rating: 5/5
It was a dreadful year in Japan. Them Japanese big wigs, in an attempt to control the population of juvenile delinquents, wrote down and passed the B.R. Act, or Battle Royale. It's a very interesting and weird concept, like most Japanese things are, because this law consummates in this survival of the fittest kind of tournament which involves one randomly chosen class of high school kids. What's happening here is that they kill each other in a dog eat dog competition where only one survivor emerges victorious, and this movie documents the brutal elimination of a 42-strong class of high school students in each others suddenly murderous hands. Of course made necessary by sanctioned tournament rules.
A group of 42 high school students (Class 3B) are taken against their will in this desolated island where the tournament rules (B.R. Rules) are explained to them in strikingly deadly clarity. Each was given a random set of weapons with which they must kill until the third day, where the tournament will finish with only one survivor, that's one or nothing since tournament rules strictly impose a one winner slash survivor policy; everybody dies if that's not met on the third day. They are each equipped with a necklace that acts as a tracking device which tracks their heartbeat and their survival rate. This same necklace, as some sort of insurance, doubles as a bomb that detonates on the third day, just to make sure that the one-winner policy is met.
Battle Royale is one of those Japanese films that you just don't forget for some reason. As Ichi the Killer is remarkable for its brutality and Ringu is for its freaky, Battle Royale has this big and unbelievable dick for a story, and fucks everybody in the face with the execution. It has the pacing of a champion F1 racer, and its singleness of purpose will kill its characters in a heartbeat just to make a point. It's anime-ish interpretation is a big plus; although there is no cosplay involved, it has elements which are reminiscent of Japanese Student Manga. It has no sex, but we are treated to a relentless feast of murder and intensity. It's the perfect non-erotic cheap thrill, I tell you, and such brutality can never be captured any more perfectly.