The most controversial movies of all time are here in a complete definite collection. A sure must-buy for everyone who loves Battle Royale.
It's violent, heartbreaking, disturbing and just a very well made film. It also spawned a sequel, Battle Royale II:Requiem and while not as good as the original, it made far more controversy than the original Battle Royale.
Based on the controversial best selling book by Koushun Takami, Battle Royale takes place in Japan, where a new millennium began and the nation of Japan became turmoil, that the economy went down and the school education system is dead, due to 800,000 students never coming to school and with any lack of order in our schools, it became out of control. Therefore, the government passed a "New Millennium Act Law", known as The BR Act, a law where 42 students are randomly selected and they are forced to play a deadly game of life and death, as students must survive by killing themselves and the one who kills all the students is declared the winner of Battle Royale.
The story in Battle Royale is unbelievably good, I love how it deals with all this innocent students finding their will to survive this deadly game because Battle Royale demonstrates that the government will use these poor kids that never killed a human being in their life to use them in their own selfish needs and why am I'm saying this? Well it's because Kinji Fukasaku takes inspirations from his own personal life into Battle Royale because during his entire life, he faced countless police riots in his country and throughout the years, he sees the true evil that the government can be: Governments are people who rather waste money on pointless buildings rather than making a f*cking plan to help the medical and educational system from failing and just being complete ignorant bastards who like nothing more to say a bunch of pointless lies on live broadcast TV and yes, i watch a lot of news about lying politics, so you have to excuse my anger.
It also deals with the choices that all this students make in the film. Like example, If you are forced to compete in Battle Royale and forced to kill your friends, would you go along with the game and kill them all with no pity for them, hide out of plain sight until it is over so you can make your escape or will you take your own life, so that you can be free from being forced to play this game? Each character deals with a complicated dilemma that changes these students from normal human beings into vicious killers, but the less I say about that the better.
Battle Royale is violent as f*ck,It was so disturbing and horrifying that it was never released in America until Anchor Bay Entertainment had some tough balls to pick up the rights to Battle Royale and finally released the entire movies on DVD and Blu-Ray. It has plenty of gory and bloody death scenes, with some pretty well made gore effects, especially the scene with the explosive bracelet on a student's neck (ewww!). The cinematography and set designs was excellent, the island looks vast and beautifully, allowing Battle Royale to create an uncomfortable atmosphere that plays throughout the entire film. The performances were excellent, but Takeshi Kitano (cinematic and legendary actor that starred in Kill Bill) as the teacher steals the show and he brings everything he got to the role. He is awesome in the beginning of the first minutes of the film.
The only negative I have with Battle Royale is a big one: The English dub voices for Battle Royale. OMFG, it makes the crappy Pioneer dub of Akira look amazing, i mean really, the voice actors who voiced the characters are awful and each voice didn't even fit well with the characters, especially the teacher and the main characters Nanahara and Moriko. It sounds so bad and you just wanna stick to the Japanese language with subtitles instead.
Overall, Battle Royale is still a masterpiece of violent movie making and it will be remembered by many movie fans to come.
Battle Royale II: Requiem:
Battle Royale II: Requiem is also a good sequel. Overlooked by many fans of the original Battle Royal movie, Battle Royale II became even more controversial than the original and was obviously hated by everyone, but there just overreacting too much on the negative side of BR II. Also, Kinji Fukasaku died during filming of Battle Royale II and instead his son Kanta Fukasaku, who also wrote the screenplay for the first Battle Royale film, took over to finish the film and dedicated this film for his father when it was released a few years later.
Battle Royale II: Reuiem takes place 3 years after the original as we see Shuya Nanahara and with other survivors of The BR Act form a rebellious group known as "The Wild Seven" (reference to Seven Samurai) and bombed an entire city as a message to the government who forced them to kill each other in previous Battle Royale games. Later, the government kidnaps 42 more students and forcing them into Battle Royale, with their teacher Riki Takeuchi in charge of telling them the new act called "BR II Act" and it means that these students are forced to go to the island where Nanahara and his Wild Seven soldiers are hiding and kill them all by any means necessary.
The plot is more of a continuation to the first one and it's the main weakness of Requiem. It's a rehashed version of the first movie, but with less interesting characters and a teacher that tries way too hard to be like the teacher from the fist Battle Royale movie. To be fair, the character Nanahara becomes a much stronger charater and it's cool to see him become a fearless leader of this rebellion. If Kanta Fukasaku put more focus on making an original story with better written characters, then it would have worked for a greater advantage for this very anticipated sequel.
Battle Royale II: Requiem is far more violent and gorier than the original. Blood splatters everywhere, soldiers beating the living crap out of students and even little kids get shot in this movie, it ranks up high in the violence factor and if this your kind of thing, then you will enjoy it. The set designs and cinematography still looks great as usual and the best part is that there's no god-awful English dub for the sequel.
Like I said, Battle Royale II: Requiem is not as good as the original and it doesn't have characters that are interesting or neither a good story, but It offers some fun moments that you might enjoy in this sequel.
Before I end this review, I will talk about the supposed planned remake of Battle Royale for those who had never heard of it.
According to Wikipedia, producer Roy Lee obtain the rights to remake Battle Royale with New Line Cinema distributing the film. During an interview, Roy Lee made a response to the fans of the original Battle Royale who were outraged by the news of remaking Battle Royale for American audiences. He said that he promised that it will be a hard R rated bloody film, while taking elements from the film, books and even the Battle Royale manga. However in 2011, Roy Lee announced that the Battle Royale remake is cancelled because of The Hunger Games since both the films and the books that was based on shared many similarities to Battle Royale and Roy feared that the audiences will just bitch on the remake and called it a ripoff of Hunger Games.
Yeah, it's kinda true and since Hunger Games became a far more global phenomenon than Royale, I clearly see his reason for it, but for those reading this review. remember this: Battle Royale came first than Hunger Games. Make sure you remember that wisely.