BATTLE ROYALE has been deemed controversial in North America. Due to the content of teenagers
killing each other in some twisted type of LORD OF THE FLIES game and the Columbine
School shootings, BATTLE ROYALE and the sequel haven't seen release until now. It took 12 years and a movie people have been unfairly comparing to BATTLE ROYALE
to finally give these two cult films their DVD and Blu-ray release.
An innocent class of nine graders is chosen
to kill each other on a remote island. They have explosive collars around their necks and they are informed every six
hours where the danger zones are and when. They must fight each other as they hope to escape from the island.
Some students refuse to play the game while other students give in to the violence and two transfer students have played the
game before. One of the transfer students kills every student he sees while the other transfer student is interested
in killing the ones who have weapons and find the meaning of the last words of the girl he loved and had to kill in a previous
Battle Royale game (which he won). The students have three days to fight and only one can emerge as the survivor.
The second Battle Royale film picks up years later as the rules of the battle Royale game have changed.
The BATTLE ROYALE films are very interesting
and don't deserve the controversy they received by frightened civic groups and distributors across the United States.
The first BATTLE ROYALE film has parallels to LORD OF THE FLIES and THE HUNGER GAMES has been compared to the film (but both
movies are totally different). I can understand the violence some teenagers can inflict and the emotions they
feel. The BATTLE ROYALE films portray those emotions very well and the confusion they face when thrust into the games.
The first film is better than the sequel. the sequel isn't a failure because it tries very hard to take the basic premise
and twist it into new directions without being like a remake or clone of the first BATTLE ROYALE.
THE MAKING OF BATTLE ROYALE is a boring
over padded collection of behind-the-scenes production footage.
ROYALE Press Conference
Next is the Birthday Version of the BATTLE
ROYALE Instructional Video which is somewhat entertaining.
If you feel like you need to watch the
Audition & Rehearsal Footage and the Basketball Scene Rehearsals, it is included on the DVD bonus disc. I found the stuff to be boring and could have been edited down.
Also included are a Behind-The-Scenes featurette, a Filming ON-Set featurette, Tokyo International Film Festival 2000
which has quick intros from cast and crew on the stage hyping the film, the MTV edited style BATTLE ROYALE documentary (more
like a promotional featurette), a Tarantino Version TV spot which I rather would have seen a featurette on Tarantino discussing
the film, the BATTLE ROYALE Special Edition TV spot, and the original theatrical trailer for the first film.
Overall, I feel the bonus DVD of extras
(included with the three Blu-ray discs) is a poorly produced assortment of extras and full of missed opportunities in addition
to no extras covering BATTLE ROYALE 2.
FINAL ANALYSIS: BATTLE ROYALE is an incredible cult classic while the sequel
doesn't quite live up to the first film despite being OK to watch. This collection
is a must-own for foreign action film fans, cult movie buffs, and anyone seeking a more shocking alternative to THE HUNGER
GAMES. The only disappointment of the set is the DVD extras disc included
in this Blu-ray set.
this review is (c)3-29-2012 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.
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