Battle Royale (2000)

Not Rated   |    |  Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi


Battle Royale (2000) Poster

In the future, the Japanese government captures a class of ninth-grade students and forces them to kill each other under the revolutionary "Battle Royale" act.


7.6/10
160,624

Photos

  • Ko Shibasaki in Battle Royale (2000)
  • Tatsuya Fujiwara and Aki Maeda in Battle Royale (2000)
  • Masanobu Andô in Battle Royale (2000)
  • Takeshi Kitano in Battle Royale (2000)
  • Chiaki Kuriyama and Hirohito Honda in Battle Royale (2000)
  • Takeshi Kitano in Battle Royale (2000)

See all photos

Get More From IMDb

For an enhanced browsing experience, get the IMDb app on your smartphone or tablet.

Get the IMDb app

Cast & Crew

Top Billed Cast



Director:

Kinji Fukasaku

Writers:

Koushun Takami (novel), Kenta Fukasaku (screenplay)

Reviews & Commentary

Add a Review


User Reviews


15 March 2006 | deadlypen
10
| A Haunting Film That Demands Repeated Viewing
The Place: Japan. The Time: The not-so-distant-future. Faced with the prospect of losing control over the nation's young people, a totalitarian government decides upon a ruthless demonstration of power. The Battle Royale Act annually sends a randomly-selected class of high school students to an uninhabited island where they are compelled to kill each other until only one of their number survives.

The reasoning behind this bizarre piece of legislation is perhaps the weakest part of the plot - but the Director deftly causes us to suspend disbelief by drawing us surely and touchingly into the feelings of the young cast. Unlike many western movies which trot out a body count of simplistic characters who are only there to die horribly for our entertainment, Battle Royale somehow manages to rapidly introduce us to the story's potential victims and make us care about them.

You will read reviews that describe this film as excessively violent. I believe that this is a gross overstatement. Though there are many deaths and not a little blood, the main emphasis is upon simple human values - issues such as trust, friendship, love and hate - which the competition tests to their very limits. Children who have little genuine experience of living are forced to evaluate their relationships with each other if they want to stay alive. Alliances are formed and broken; long suppressed crushes and barely buried antagonisms influence their decisions.

There are no easy or mindless deaths in Battle Royale. The violent scenes make the point that violence and death are not cool or funny. This is not Kill Bill; every character in Battle Royale has value as a living, breathing human being. It may sound corny to say that the movie is an emotional roller-coaster ride, but it truly is - having dared to give us three dimensional people who bleed when they are cut, the Director sometimes further dares to cruelly follow scenes of tragedy with jarring moments of biting, dark and sarcastic wit.

If this was an American movie, the class would be played by people in their twenties and thirties. Two or three of the students would be given a lot of screen time and the rest would be faceless cannon fodder. Five seconds after the opening titles, you would know who was going to survive. Despite its odd premise, Battle Royale seems closer to reality because its teenagers really are teenagers and it allows no comforting certainties about who lives or dies.

The true genius of Battle Royale lies in the talented playing of the entire cast. Although young, not one of them strikes a dud note and the script gives almost all of the students a chance to shine at some point. The fight scenes are not staged in the style of 'Enter The Dragon' - the kids are not weapons experts or Karate champions. We see them kill each other but we are not invited to hate them - they are, after all, children and they are scared and desperate. Even a student who takes to killing with apparent relish deserves our sympathy.

Some reviewers have criticised aspects of the dialogue as unrealistic. There are certainly times when the script seems stagy - but it is important to remember that these Japanese children are products of a national culture which often finds the expression of passionate emotions problematical. If anything, the formal phrasing and awkwardness of their most heartfelt expressions only serves to make them more meaningful.

The Special Edition ends (quite literally) with a question. You will find yourself going back to this movie time and time again to answer it. Each viewing is rewarded with details that you probably missed previously - the depth of characterisation and the layers of hidden-in-plain-sight clues continually allow you to understand the story from fresh perspectives.

Metacritic Reviews


Critic Reviews



More Like This

Battle Royale II

Battle Royale II

Audition

Audition

Ichi the Killer

Ichi the Killer

Ringu

Ringu

Oldboy

Oldboy

I Saw the Devil

I Saw the Devil

Brother

Brother

Fireworks

Fireworks

Thirst

Thirst

The Host

The Host

Lady Vengeance

Lady Vengeance

Battle Royale

Battle Royale

Did You Know?

Trivia

Some shots that took place at night were actually shot during the day; during post-production, those scenes were tinted so as to give the impression that it was night time. An example is when Kiriyama attacks Kawada, Noriko, and Shuya in the bungalow. Scenes from the bonus DVD in the extras department confirm this.


Quotes

Reporter: This year Zentsuji Middle School number 4's Class E was chosen from among 43,000 Ninth grade classes. This year's game, said to be more blistering than the last - - Oh look there! There she is! The winner's a girl! Surviving a fierce battle that ...


Goofs

When Yuka Nakagawa is poisoned, her face lands in the bowl of poisoned spaghetti. A little later as the girls begin shooting each other, her face is now out of the bowl, and on the table instead.


Crazy Credits

As the credits roll, a class picture is displayed, showing all of the students that have been killed in the Battle Royale, including the two transfer students.


Alternate Versions

The Special Version includes the following:

  • Redone opening titles
  • Redone sound effects
  • Added CGI blood to make the shootouts more graphic Also, many shots were added, deleted, reedited, and extended for pacing and clarity purposes, including the following:
  • A longer basketball sequence
  • Added reaction shots of the kids in the classroom to Kitano's "Do you know this law" question, and after Kuninobu's death.
  • A flashback shot of Mizuho and Inada and Kaori Minami to remind us of who they were when we see their bodies.
  • Closer shots of Takiguchi and Hatagami's corpses
  • An additional shot of Nanahara weeping at the top of the lighthouse
  • Additional shots of postcards from Mimura's uncle
  • Kitano shutting down power to the computers and ordering the soldiers to reboot after the Third Man attack
  • A scene with Mitsuko as a 9-year-old coming home to find a pedophile in her house.
  • An additional shot of Mimura triggering the explosives on the truck
  • Requiems that show the real flashbacks, and we hear the dialog during Noriko's dream.


Soundtracks

Shizuka na hibi no kaidan wo
(Stairway of quiet everyday life)
Performed by Dragon Ash
Courtesy of Victor Entertainment, Inc.

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller

How Despicable Characters Make "Succession" So Good

Alan Ruck explains how such awful people make such compelling characters on HBO's "Succession."

Watch now

Around The Web

 | 

Powered by ZergNet

More To Explore

Search on Amazon.com