Battle Royale

Battle Royale

4.2 13
Director: Kinji Fukasaku

Cast: Kinji Fukasaku, Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda, Taro Yamamoto

     
 

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In a future where society is on the verge of collapse, the government takes drastic action against the problem of rebellious teenagers in this violent sci-fi opus from Japan. In the year 2002, Japan's economy has taken a dramatic turn for the worse, and massive unemployment and inflation have thrown most adults into a state of chaos; the nation's youth culture… See more details below

Overview

In a future where society is on the verge of collapse, the government takes drastic action against the problem of rebellious teenagers in this violent sci-fi opus from Japan. In the year 2002, Japan's economy has taken a dramatic turn for the worse, and massive unemployment and inflation have thrown most adults into a state of chaos; the nation's youth culture responds with unprecedented violence, delinquency, and truancy. Desperate to restore order, the Japanese parliament responds by creating the Millennial Reform School Act, in which groups of junior high students are selected at random, sent to an isolated island, and forced to play a rigorous war game, in which all but one of their number are killed. Kitano (Beat Takeshi) is an embittered school instructor who guides the 44 students of the Zentsuji Middle School's Class B through the deadly game known as "Battle Royale," as they struggle to survive against the elements and each other. Battle Royale proved to be both successful and highly controversial in Japan, where it set box-office records and prompted political leaders to call for stricter controls on violence in Japanese entertainment; the film was initially rated R-15 (no one under 15 admitted), unusual for violent films in Japan, though director Kinji Fukasaku later prepared a re-edited version that earned a more lenient classification.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jonathan Crow
If anything else, Kinji Fukasaku's Battle Royale is timely. Fukasaku capitalizes on the fear of children in contemporary Japanese society and savages it. Adults in this film are portrayed as petty and sadistic (such as Kitano), craven and selfish (as in Shuya's father who kills himself in a flashback), or simply absent. Instead of being given love, these teens are literally thrown into the wilderness and told to fend for themselves. To his credit, Fukasaku keeps the social commentary light and the film funny --surprising, given its subject matter. The film juxtaposes animalistic bloodletting with crushes, schoolyard cliques, and other cliches of teendom. Fukasaku also populates Battle with images that simply radiate with a certain pungent absurdism. The Battle Royale instructional video, for example, features an announcer sporting punky hair, a nose ring, bangled arms, and the grindingly sunny disposition of an airport stewardess on Ecstasy. The satirical elements of Battle Royale, however, lie uneasily alongside the inherent horror of the characters' predicament -- having to kill one's best friends in order to survive -- giving the film an oddly ambiguous tone. The result is that the viewer is unclear as to exactly how to react to the work; laughter often dies in one's throat. Perhaps because of the terrific darkness that Fukasaku evokes through the film's mid-section, Battle Royale's dénouement feels too pat and easy. Nothing short of a brisk march into the abyss would feel appropriate. Though not a work for Andy Griffith fans or Sound of Music enthusiasts, Battle Royale is a fascinating, disturbing film that will in turns make viewers laugh, jump, and cringe.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/20/2012
UPC:
0013132376295
Original Release:
2000
Rating:
NR
Source:
Starz / Anchor Bay
Region Code:
1
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
2:02:00
Sales rank:
24,505

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Tatsuya Fujiwara Shuya Nanahara
Aki Maeda Noriko Nakagawa
Taro Yamamoto Shougo Kawada
Masanobu Ando Kiriyama
Kou Shibasaki Mitsuko Souma
Chiaki Kuriyama Chigusa
Takeshi Kitano Kitano
Yamamoto Taru Actor
Shibasaki Kou Actor
Beat Takeshi Actor
Ai Iwamura Smiling Winner
Ai Maeda Shiori Kitano
Sousuke Takaoka Hiroki Sugimura

Technical Credits
Kinji Fukasaku Director
Hirohide Abe Editor
Masamichi Amano Score Composer
Kobayashi Chie Co-producer,Producer
Kenta Fukasaku Co-producer
Kyoko Heya Production Designer
Teruo Kamaya Producer
Kimio Kataoka Co-producer
Yanagijima Katsumi Cinematographer
Fukusaku Kenta Producer
Fukasaku Kenta Screenwriter
Kataoka Kimio Producer
Hisao Nabeshima Co-producer,Producer
Masumi Okada Producer
Masao Sato Producer
Ikuro Takano Executive Producer
Katsumi Yanagishima Cinematographer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Battle Royale
1. Main Title/Crazy World [7:29]
2. Battle Royale [13:13]
3. The Game Begins [8:16]
4. "It's Tough When Your Friends Die" [12:11]
5. Great Weapons [8:35]
6. The Coolest Girl In The World [7:55]
7. "I'm a Survivor" [4:23]
8. Suspicions Lead To Bloodshed [6:38]
9. "I'll Protect You" [10:47]
10. Blind Rage [15:05]
11. The Last Cookie/Epilogue [8:45]
12. End Credits [13:58]

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