It’s no secret that half of America’s media are just blatant ripoffs of Asian works. Battle Royale will forever be known as the predecessor to The Hunger Games and weirdly enough, a whole bunch of video games. If you know someone who plays way too much Fortnite, you can blame this movie.
In an apocalyptic future, where teenagers are super disrespectful and adults have no patience apparently, a single class of students will be chosen to fight to the death on a deserted island. The winner will go home, rich and alive. Why? Unclear. Because they were mean to adults? It literally makes no sense. I don’t think the writers cared either, they just wanted to get a bunch of kids to kill each other, so points for Hunger Games for actually providing a reason.
Some of the kids discover that they are badass killing machines. Others try to take the moral high route. Many of them fall quickly into suspicion and mayhem.
One thing going for Battle Royale is its gleeful embrace of the violence. No pulled punches. These kids die, and they die horribly. The effects are fun, if low budget. But the blood pours liberally for horror fans.
There is just so little logic to the movie it boggles the mind. One psychopath gets an uzi and shoots it near constantly. He never runs out of ammo. The teacher has a weird relationship with some random girl that has zero explanation. And again, the kids are killing each other because adults are made that teens are rude?? If you don’t show it on TV to other kids how do the other kids learn not to be rude?!
Ultimately, this is clearly a cult-y film. Decent action, way too long, zero plot, but a clear influence on countless media. Only watch if you’re a fan of foreign films.
2 out of 4 stars.