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Movie Review: Battle Royale (2000)

Battle Royale – 2000 Drama/Thriller Battle Royale is by far the most messed-up, insane movie I have ever seen. It’s brutal, sometimes cringe-worthy, and depressing…yet it’s ridiculously entertaining. It’s hard to take your eyes off the screen when you’re watching it. The premise of the story is that a schoolclass of teenagers (about 40 in […]

Battle RoyaleBattle Royale – 2000
Drama/Thriller

Battle Royale is by far the most messed-up, insane movie I have ever seen. It’s brutal, sometimes cringe-worthy, and depressing…yet it’s ridiculously entertaining. It’s hard to take your eyes off the screen when you’re watching it.

The premise of the story is that a schoolclass of teenagers (about 40 in total) get drugged and wake up to find themselves on an island. They soon find out that they’re now a part of the most dangerous game ever; only one of them is going to make it off the island alive. Each classmate is wearing a collar, and it will explode in three days if more than one person is still alive (also, if someone tries to take their collar off it will explode automatically).

Part of what really makes the movie insane is how the kids kill each other. At the beginning, each student is given a bag with a weapon in it…but the weapon is random. They range from incredibly useless (the lid of a cooking pot) to really useful (an uzi). Some of the weapons are melee weapons like a hatchet — these are used in pretty gruesome ways, so if blood makes you uneasy stay far away from this movie. There’s a ton of blood.

Along the way, uneasy alliances are formed by some but others just choose to go at it alone. Some don’t even want to participate and would rather commit suicide than kill one of their classmates. This is not a happy movie.

I really, really wanted to give this movie a 10/10 but I just can’t. The version I saw was the extended cut. In this version, there are three “requiems” at the end that I really didn’t see the point for. And maybe I just didn’t understand the teacher’s character, but at the end he just came off as a weird creepy guy.

Another problem I had was with the subtitles. The movie is in Japanese, so you have to do some reading. If the movie is really good, that by itself doesn’t make a difference to me. But sometimes, the subtitles for this are grammatically incorrect; it isn’t like they’re just using slang, but some words that should obviously be in the subtitles are just missing. Luckily, Battle Royale isn’t really dialogue-driven so that’s not too much of a problem.

Despite some of the problems I had, Battle Royale is easily one of the five most entertaining movies I’ve ever seen.

Score = 9.5/10

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