Battle Royale (2000)

“Battle Royale” is a 2000 Japanese horror starring Tatsuya Fujiwara (Death Note), Aki Maeda (The Cat Returns), Taro Yamamoto (Moon Child), and Takeshi Kitano (The Blindswordsman: Zatoichi).

In the future the Japanese government holds a three-day tournament where a school class fights to the death, only one must be left at the end of the three days or all survivors will be killed. This year the government captures a 9th grade class of 42 students to compete.

This one is pretty highly rated on IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, and Metacritic. I also read a list saying this is the best battle royal style movie, think “Hunger games”, “The Condemned”, etc… Cool thing also, this is the first movie to do this, “Hunger Games” came much later, and people even claim, “Hunger Games” is a blatant plagiarism of “Battle Royale.” So, I definitely wanted to watch this one. I’m probably in the minority on this one, but I thought it was just okay. I like the plot and it adds uniqueness like each participant gets a different weapon. Some are good, like a machine gun and bow while others are bad like a pot lid or binoculars. Funny thing though, the pot lid did come in handy. Also, I’m not a fan of dub and subbed movies they never match up, and the dubbing never seems to match the acting, which isn’t the movies’ fault, but still bugs me. The production quality also looks like it’s from the 80’s not 2000. It’s a long one too, a little over two hours, which with 42 kids fighting for their lives it does take a lot of time to show each death. Which I give them credit, there is a lot of unique deaths, it just becomes hard to keep track with the individual stories, friendships, and love interests that come into play. Overall, it’s cool this kicked off the whole battle royal sub-genre, but I give it a 5.5/10. If you do want to check it out, it’s free on Amazon Prime.


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