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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Movies  |  Bad Movies  |  Battle Royale « previous next »
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Author Topic: Battle Royale  (Read 6706 times)
Andrew
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« on: July 31, 2007, 05:32:00 PM »

This was a graphically violent film, both in actual violence (teenagers killing each other) and in the emotional destruction of the characters.  Japan, finally fed up with the spiraling chaos prevalent in its schools, enacts a law called "Battle Royale."  Best I can tell, every year a class is chosen to participate in the contest.  I am not certain if this is at random or the class is chosen based on them being a right dirty bunch of bastards.  The latter makes more sense, once you understand the rules, but some of the conversations make me think that the selection is random.

The young adults (the class chosen is 9th graders) are taken to a remote island.  All of them are equipped with explosive neckpieces that can be detonated by the adults running the competition and each is given a seabag with food, water, a map, and a random weapon.  Some kids get Uzis, some get poison, one gets a pot lid (whoever packed that seabag had a sense of humor).  The goal of Battle Royale is simple:  kill all of your other classmates; only one can survive.  The game runs for three days and more and more areas become "danger zones" to force the surviving contestants into contact with each other.  At the end of the three days, if there is more than one survivor, all the neckpieces explode.

Obviously, we see a lot of Japanese high school students killing each other.  Some are into it, some do it and cannot figure out why they are doing it, and some kill their friends out of fear.  The script does go into the normal friction between cliques, because students without any social bonds are pretty nasty toward each other.

Some of the students do attempt to work together.  They experience a world where cooperation is only practiced by small groups, while the basic framework of society is completely in disarray. 

Friendly Students: "Hey, we're trying to save everyone!"
Other Student: "I have to kill you!  Kill YOU!"
Friendly Students: "Run away!"
(As the crazy one guns them down or comes chasing after them with a hatchet.)

For the most part, the protagonists are a boy and a girl who have crushes on each other, but a lot of the students are given short character studies as they play out their parts.  We even get to see some of their background.

Something you might be worried about is that the setup is too good, that the film will be a letdown.  It's not amazing and life-changing, but it is an entertaining film and likely to make you think about some of the social aspects of the story.  Obviously, throwing a class of 9th graders onto an island and making them kill each other is not going to solve Japan's problems...
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« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2007, 05:40:44 PM »

A truly great movie. The novel that it's based on is also very recommended reading as it fleshes out a lot of stuff that the movie didn't have time to go into.

I would recommend staying away from the sequel however. I thought that it was terrible.  Most people didn't like the sequel. The director of the 1st died while filming it and his son took over directorial duties.
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« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2007, 05:56:38 PM »

A truly great movie. The novel that it's based on is also very recommended reading as it fleshes out a lot of stuff that the movie didn't have time to go into.

I would recommend staying away from the sequel however. I thought that it was terrible.  Most people didn't like the sequel. The director of the 1st died while filming it and his son took over directorial duties.

Yeah, I didn't like the sequel either. I felt it kinda of ruined the characters of Noriko and Shuya, especially the latter.

This is one of those movies that would never, ever get made in this country. Just imagine the outcry.
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« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2007, 06:52:50 PM »

This is one of those movies that would never, ever get made in this country. Just imagine the outcry.
Does it even have distribution in the States?  I know Tartan released it in the UK.  I bought the tin box edition when I visited London.  I part time in this record store that also sells DVDs and every once in a while someone comes along and tries to order it but we can't get it outside of imports and this store is very well known for being able to get nearly everything still in print in the US.

It's a favorite of mine.  I think some of the dialog is a little weird, but I think something gets lost in translation at times.  For instance, the dying words of one of the kids that he tells another kid, "I think you're cool." Or something to that effect.  I know I shouldn't laugh, but it's so awkward at times.

Takeshi Kitano is so completely intimidating in that movie, too.  I'm hard pressed to find another movie where he plays someone so intense.
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« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2007, 01:24:54 AM »

This is one of those movies that would never, ever get made in this country. Just imagine the outcry.


Yeah, the original will never be released. but some version will.

http://www.cinematical.com/2006/07/09/battle-royale-remake-news/

And i do not look forward to this happening. Bluesad
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« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2007, 06:42:40 AM »

Quote
I am not certain if this is at random or the class is chosen based on them being a right dirty bunch of bastards.  The latter makes more sense, once you understand the rules, but some of the conversations make me think that the selection is random.

This was my main problem with the movie.  If the class is chosen completely at random, there's no incentive for students to "behave or else".  Random selection accomplishes the exact opposite, in fact!  So, basically, the Battle Royale would seem to be for the satisfaction of old people who like to see those uppity teenagers die.

I couldn't quite get past that and enjoy the movie.

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« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2007, 07:06:24 AM »

Quote
So, basically, the Battle Royale would seem to be for the satisfaction of old people who like to see those uppity teenagers die.
I think that's a part of the underlying theme of the movie.  Japanese society seems to fear teenagers more than anything else.

I thought at some point in the movie early on they explained that the BR Act was instituted to stem school boycotts and bad behavior by randomly choosing from some sort of bottom 100 list of the worst classes in Japan.  So it's not all classes, just one out of the many awful classes of delinquent kids.
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« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2007, 09:34:17 AM »

I was lucky enought to see it on the big screen at a Kenji Fukasaku retrospective. He made a lot of Yakuza films as well as Battle Beyond the Stars and The Green Slime.

Battle Royale is a must see in my book. I'd advise against the Korean DVD release though, its slightly longer, has a few scenes that show some of the kid's back story, but a lot of the best lines are not in the subtitles. Its like when the did the subs the missed every 4th line and never went back to add them.
 
I think one of the underlying themes is how competetive the Japanese school system is. Fukasaku took a lot of heat for this movie and his reaction was basically that he made it because he was concerned about the  kids.
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« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2007, 11:17:55 AM »

I thought at some point in the movie early on they explained that the BR Act was instituted to stem school boycotts and bad behavior by randomly choosing from some sort of bottom 100 list of the worst classes in Japan.  So it's not all classes, just one out of the many awful classes of delinquent kids.

Ah, that makes sense then.  It was a combination of being one of the worst classes and "winning" the Battle Royale lottery.

The film did make a statement about how screwed up the adults were by looking at some of the student's backgrounds.  Due to the film's structure, it would be difficult for the students to say, "But you made us like this!" in any meaningful way that wouldn't seem slapped in, so the writer/director spoke for them.
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« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2007, 12:47:48 PM »

Quote
This is one of those movies that would never, ever get made in this country. Just imagine the outcry.

And yet, two posts down, we find out they're making an American remake.   TeddyR  Maybe it'll be toned down though.

Battle Royale is a solid film.  Well-made, well-paced, and with several interesting characters.  I have to say my favorite is definitely the psychotic lunatic..  I can't ever remember his name though.  In the book, his character is much different though...  If memory serves, he's a rich kid with a big group of his friends, and he talks a lot more.
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« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2007, 04:54:20 AM »


Ah great film... that is all...
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« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2007, 11:41:51 AM »

I thought at some point in the movie early on they explained that the BR Act was instituted to stem school boycotts and bad behavior by randomly choosing from some sort of bottom 100 list of the worst classes in Japan.  So it's not all classes, just one out of the many awful classes of delinquent kids.

Battle Royale -- in the book, anyway -- was completely random. It was instituted to keep kids in line through fear and intimidation, regardless of their attitude. Yes, the class featured in the story had its fair share of delinquents, but the process itself is impartial. That's how it was presented in the novel, and I'm almost positive that's how the movie played out.
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« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2007, 11:56:21 AM »

I've heard good things about this.

But I don't know where to find the dvd.  Suncoast?
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« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2007, 07:58:09 AM »


Battle Royale is a must see in my book. I'd advise against the Korean DVD release though, its slightly longer, has a few scenes that show some of the kid's back story, but a lot of the best lines are not in the subtitles. Its like when the did the subs the missed every 4th line and never went back to add them.

I believe the DVD I have is the Korean import.  It has the added backstory scenes, which help in some cases.  For instance, there is the tall pretty girl who feels it's her destiny to try and destroy everyone else.  Her backstory where the viewer learns she has killed before, it quite interesting.  Some of the other added scenes are superfluous though.
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« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2007, 08:36:51 AM »

I've heard good things about this.

But I don't know where to find the dvd.  Suncoast?
Mail order.  I have yet to see this on store shelves anywhere.  There are a million variations of it ranging from downright $5 bootlegs to Tartan's really nice tin box edition.  You're probably going to have to order it from some online retailer.
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