Battle Royale (2000)

Battle Royale (2000)

2000 | R | 114 Minutes

Adventure | Drama | Thriller

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.

Overall Rating

8 / 10
Verdict: Good

User Review

  • Battle Royale is the brutal depiction of becoming an adult. It's a hyperbolic metaphor for independence, where school students start to venture out into the real world. Except for this class and this dystopian future, the students must fight to the death until only one remains. Oh yes, you thought you had friends? Think again! They could just stab you in the back when you least expect it, quite literally in this case! This concept was sheer innovation. How many films do you know that focus on kids killing each other (discounting The Hunger Games as that clearly was inspired by this)? Exactly. Obviously aimed for the adult audience, it was surprising how attached we started to become to some of the pupils. Shuya especially who, as the film goes on, starts to reveal what his childhood was like. In fact we get flashbacks for many of the students and it really personalises them. It would've been easy to make them all expendable, and towards the beginning they were. But as the total number of deaths increased, we were left with some interesting characters. It's a gory film sure, but I've seen far worse. The majority of the brutality comes psychologically, imagining yourself in that very position. What would you honestly do? Me, well I would decimate everyone because I'm that kinda guy...but still! I like how the teenagers were actually still talking about who they had crushes on and unsurprisingly in this situation many of them confess their love before sacrificing themselves or protecting others. Commendable really, but I guess it symbolises the massive step from child to adult. The introductory video was so, as they say, "kawaii". It was sooo Japanese that I slightly fell in love with it. As the film goes on, less students are alive and so the pacing exponentially slows down which was always going to be inevitable unfortunately. Having said that, this was a very mature concept that strangely felt realistic. Just for the banter, let's make Battle Royale a real thing...could be interesting.