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Battle Royale

by

Jeff Nelson

If you can get your hands on it, Battle Royale is an explosively entertaining film.

Battle Royale
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Asian films seem to have a certain factor American films don't have. This concept is being so extreme that it has trouble getting overseas. American films, no matter how over the top, are never quite as intense as some foreign flicks, such as Battle Royale.

The Japanese government introduces a strict new punishment where students are chosen randomly and taken to a deserted island and forced to fight each other to death, only one may go home alive. The story alone is shockingly original. All movies, domestically and internationally, need to begin making more unique stories to engage its viewers. The writing for Battle Royale is hit and miss, but the message the movie is trying to spread to its audience is quite well exposed without being preachy.

The two main characters are usually the best actors, in most cases. In Battle Royale, this is the case. Aki Maeda and Tatsuya Fujiwara do a fantastic job. There are a few lines that sound outright tacky. It's quite impressive that there were no stunt doubles used for any of the main actors.

One of the most important elements of this film is location. However, this movie hits that nail right on the head. Each scene has a wonderfully amazing set that makes this island absolutely believable.

Battle Royale isn't meant to be taken seriously in any way. It's in japanese with English subtitles, but this doesn't distract from what's happening on screen. For such a low budget and underestimated film, this is a complete success. However, there is an incredible and overwhelming amount of violence throughout. Some viewers may be turned off by this. Furthermore, it's been banned from the U.S. and can be a hard movie to find without importing it. If you can get your hands on it, Battle Royale is an explosively entertaining film.

My Rating = Four Stars

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