Battle Royale 3D Reviews
First off: the elephant in the room. The Hunger Games isn't a complete rip off of this. Yeah, it's similar, but as I said in my review for that one, it's just another variation on a theme. The biggest difference between this and that is that one has more world building (and is slightly better in that regard), but this one has a lot more guts, and was thankfully not compromised when it comes to the dark and gritty subject matter. Not only that, but this film is a lot easier to tell what's going on too, as the camera isn't shaking every few seconds.
The satire (and yes, it is clearly a darkly comedic satire) is fairly broad, but it gets the point across. Japan is getting frustrated with youthful rebellion so they come up with an extreme way to deal with it: randomly select entire classes of 9th graders and force them to battle to the death on an island. Awesome. It's a pretty pointed look at the competitiveness of the educational system, and really does a good job with the broad strokes. Plus, the bloodshed is a lot more effective and shocking since the kids all know each other very well, unlike THG where the kids don't really know one another very much.
The film is quite shocking, and it amazed me how many times I noticed that my jaw had dropped. This is gruesome, but there's definitely a sense of tongue-in-cheek to this, namely with the instructional video, and the way the adults regard the situation. I kinda felt bad for enjoying this at times, and the fact that the film is really tonally ambiguous is somewhat problematic, but overall, this film is quite amazing and compelling.
There's some character development, but just enough to keep most of the characters from being complete fodder. In a movie like this, its expected that some characters will get priority over the others, and that's fine. Those characters get the most development, and it's done decently. I just wish that it was possible to have more development for more of the players. The performances are decent though, for the most part. Occasionally some of the acting sticks out as rather melodramatic, but not enough to wreck things.
Now, the violence. Damn! Like I said, I got pretty shocked at times. This film is brutal, inventive, and the rough stuff is executed quite well. Some of these set pieces were just dynamite, and I loved the creativity they put into some of these kills.
The film does somewhat fall apart a bit towards the end, but it ended satisfactorily enough for me I suppose.
All in all, this is definitely a must-see. Obviously it's not for the squeamish, but come to it with an open mind and I think you might find something good to take away from it.
The brutal violence, also, is slightly undercut by a sense of satire and irony as the filmmakers nod at cultural issues (children out of control, first-world laziness, etc.) but nothing ever gets beneath the surface, leaving us to merely "enjoy" the film as an action thriller in which a group of fairly anonymous teens murder each other in increasingly gruesome and inventive ways. I almost think Battle Royale would have worked better as an exploitation film, but its commitment to thematic concerns (however flawed they were) effectively prohibits it from ever being so. Ultimately, what you have is an attempt at a serious arty film, but it comes off as being a relatively entertaining slasher B movie that seems desperate to be more important than what it really is.
The film tried to address a lot of "big" issues, but I couldn't go with any of it because it felt like a spoof that wasn't one. The whole motivation behind forcing the students to kill each other was "you're mocking adults, this will teach you a lesson". If this was meant to be taken seriously in any way, it failed, and if it wasn't, then the humour angle didn't work either.
Being the object of scorn by the adults of Japan, unruly teenagers are chosen at random to kill each other off one by one on a nearby island. Their once care-free living, flipped upside-down in a way that will change, or take, all of their lives. From the the music to the acting, this film is boisterous, which puts an even more surreal spin on an already oddly enrapturing experience.
Yet, rather than just have this be an empty vessel of shock and awe, director Kinji Fukasaku makes some interesting observations on generational conflict. The adults of this world say that the students deserve this due to their mockery. Yet, Fukasaku shows that what the kids are really guilty of is mimicry. Many instances in the film show how these kid's capability for love and violence are shaped by their parents. In fact, the kids that we do get to know are just trying to get by in a world that they inherited from the older generations. In other words, the arena that was already built for them.
Sadly, any recent spat of reviews are sure to judge this film against the release of the titanic "The Hunger Games." However, as much as I myself like the Hunger Games novel, there are some very striking similarities aside from the whole government sanctioned death brawl that are sure to raise some brows. The seemingly professional fighters, the constant death announcements, & a character fighting for his sister, are other instances of eerie similarities between this tiny cult film and the Suzanne Collins behemoth. While not a blatant rip-off, one wouldn't be surprised if Collins had used this movie as a reference when conjuring up her story. Honestly though, it doesn't bother me much. There is room enough in this idea for two stories. Even though this one I'm sure was aimed to critique the masses, while the other will be to please.
"Can a movie go too far?"
Of course I wasn't interested in seeing it for the time because I thought it was going to be another "Running Man" movie. I only went to see it because one of my friends was seeing it with a lot of her friends and she wanted me to join. And so far I remember thinking how disgusting it was. I mean children killing themselves and stabbing and disemboweling each other just wasn't cool.
Back then I would have seen it uncensored when it was first out and I hated it to death, but after many watches I would have called it the "Greatest Movie Ever Made!" Easy in my top 3 films of all time and this is my favorite action movie.
Sometime in the future there national collapsed and there society begin to break down and children begin to resent there parents and as adults in general. Schools would be littered with violence, teachers and adults would be attacked and then the "BR" act would be in place. This survival simulation was created to offer children the true meaning of life. Respect and Value but to get that ever child must die until one is left alive.
And I mean every child will die by there friends and class mates themselves. So the last one standing will go home a free person while there feeling the guilt of murdering so many to live.
I believe at one stage during the film two friends ran out crying with each other because they were best friends and they wouldn't kill each other. Later you see them both dead with one shoot the other and the other "disemboweled" her.
So the film itself is a take on 70s-80s "Japanese" action films and the film itself really shows just the editing, acting style, action of course. And as I said before this is my favorite action movie and my top 3 are. Die hard, The Inglorious Bastereds and of course this. Those movies of it's time played a major inspiration to this full on graphic movie.
The acting is well how do I put it? Strange, I mean most of the kids are scared to kill each other and there a few kids smiling about this whole experiences. "Kiriyama" who is a 15 year old psychopath grabbed a machine gun and shot a group of students and one girl screamed for her life, and all he could do was smile and pull the trigger. So in any words the acting is perfect.
The music is inspired by "Western" culture and 60s and 70s music of course to play it out like an old action movie of it's time. And even using the same technical way of "special effects". Such as when one girl gets her throat cut it has a rapid jump cut and she is spraying blood everywhere out of her neck. And yes the movie is ultra gory and violent is I may add.
If you like at my profile photo I am one of the girls from "Battle Royale". Me as a person covered in blood from slaying my best friends.
And I close by saying easily one of the most disturbing flicks of all time yet one of my all time "favorites". People should really have a look.
The result is a film that plays almost like a video game. But the script devotes a lot of time to developing its student characters into people we really do care about. Not all these students are deserving to be placed inside this game. In fact, any of the problems that are established between the kids and authority can be traced back to failure of their parents and teachers to give them proper guidance in their lives.
Some plot points and character arcs don't really make a lot of sense. But this is a film where inconsistencies don't matter. The concept is intriguing enough to promote thought and debate amongst its audience members. Any film that manages to do that is a pretty damn important one. Hopefully, some distribution company will bring this film to the North American market, or some competent filmmaker will consider remaking it. This is a violent, disturbing film that must be seen.
*Kinji Fukasaku best movie
*Quentin Tarantino's favortie movie
Directed by Kinji Fukasaku and staring Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda, Taro Yamamoto, Takeshi Kitano, Masanobu Ando
God I am old I remember seeing this with my family when it was first out. I think I was about 9 when I saw this and I think I was closing my eyes throughout the whole movie because of how disturbing it was to watch kids kill each other in very violent and disgusting ways. I still remember the controversy on it with all the parents trying to get it banned and one quoted.
"We can't be showing our children this trash, Kids murdering each other? Who the fuck would make something like that?"
Not long after the film was banned along with the book but the manga's were still around. Today the film is available but not the special edition that's still banned. The special edition just makes the film even more cruel then what it is with new CGI, Death scenes, Violence. So the moral of the film is
Can you kill your best friends?
In the beginning of the 21st Century, the economy of Japan is near a total collapse, with high rates of unemployment and students skipping their classes. The government approves the Battle Royale Act, where one class is randomly selected and the students are sent to an island wearing necklaces with few supplies and one weapon. After three days, they have to kill each other and the survivor wins his or her own life as a prize. The 42 students of a ninth-grade class are selected to participate in the survival game and abducted while travelling in their bus. Under the command of their former teacher Kitano, they have to eliminate each other following the rules of the sadistic game where only one wins. Like Meany Shuya Nanahara wants to protect the girl he loves but by the end there can be only one.
I still can't bring myself to think of what it would be like to be in there position. Its just so suspenseful Just think you or your best friend is left and you realize that one of you is going to have to die. 2 people who have been friends for years suddenly have to kill one so they can go home.
100% for story: Just so Meany scenes make you realize the suspense of being killed by your friends. Being chased and shot by them or stab by them.
100% for acting: there all kids but there performances are just brilliant. You really feel for them when they die.
100% for special effects: there just so disgusting yet 100% realistic.
100% for characters: there is 42 characters some will committee suicide with there friends. Others will do anything to live. 42 will soon be 1.
100% for everything else: Just everything the music, the feel, all the suspense is just amazing.
One of the sickest movies ever made yet it is one of the best of its kind. Americans could never make a movie like this movie here broke the border in everything.
Not sure if I can recommend it though. But if so this movie isn't on Netflix because of major legal issues. Involving the films theme.
Keiko's score 100%