Battle Royale (2000)

Alright, so before there was The Hunger Games, and before there were people who prided themselves on knowing that there was something before the fucking who cares Games, there was 2000’s Battle Royale. What is it about? Well…

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.

Alright, so I love this movie, but I have to say that on my most recent watch through of it, I started to notice things about it that were… kind of silly really.

I think that a huge part of the silliness of the movie is the translation. I watched the movie with an english dub (which actually isn’t TERRIBLE for those of you who want to see this movie but for whatever reason can’t handle a subtitled movie), but I also left the subtitles on. I have to believe that there are certain things that just don’t translate to english. So, I do understand that, and I am not going to fault the movie for that. It does create some pretty hilarious and totally nonsense-tacular lines in the movie, but I won’t harp on that too much.

There are some sort of strange dream sequences that don’t really add a whole lot, at least not in a context that I understand. Again, this could just be a staple of film making from that country, but I just didn’t understand some of the more surreal aspects of the movie. If someone out there knows, please feel free to educate me.

I do often forget that the movie is meant to be over-the-top and really is just a kick-ass B movie, so I guess my complaints aren’t entirely fair. Also, like I mentioned at the beginning of this review. I do love this movie.

The performances from the young actors are delightfully hammy, and do occasionally cross over to silly, but they aren’t terrible actors and they do a great job. One of the coolest things, to me, about the movie, is that there were no stunt doubles on the movie. So all of these kids did their own stunts and that really adds a different layer to the movie.

As well as that, the movie’s concept is just unsettling and frightening. Trying to relate to these kids and put yourself in their shoes creates a much more harrowing experience, because… I mean, what would you do? Who would you kill? How much do you NEED to stay alive?

So that aspect really works for me. I think the problems with this movie can be pretty easily summed up by things being just lost in the translation, which is totally fair enough. It’s still a fun, serviceable B-Movie and I still think its one of those movies that everyone should see.

I will say this though, stop shitting on people who like the Hunger Games and saying “BATTLE ROYALE WAS FIRZTZUHTHIH” – – who cares? Some people aren’t into some movies. It’s not a big deal, everyone just be cool.

I also have to say, this isn’t some kind of sleeper masterpiece like people seem to think it is, it’s not a bad movie, but its certainly not one of the “BEST MOVIES EVER MADE” – – I do think we occasionally give more credit to a movie when it’s in a language we don’t understand. I have no idea why, but that’s just what I think. This is just a fun B-movie, with a whole bunch of crazy violence, and lots of fun.

After all that, what’s the final grade?
Well, it’s…

Watch it.

Also, if you care, I decided not to watch the sequel right now. Maybe later…  maybe not. Who knows. Stay tuned!


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