Once the prequel has been dispensed with, the classmates are drugged and awaken on an island where they find they have been fitted with dog collars that monitor their every move. Instructed by their old teacher ("Beat" Takeshi) with the aid of an upbeat MTV-style video, they are told of their fate: after an impartial lottery they have been chosen to fight each other in a three-day, no-rules contest, the "Battle Royale". Their only chance of survival in the "Battle" is through the death of all their classmates. Some pupils embrace their mission with zeal, while others simply give up or try to become peacemakers and revolutionaries. However, the ultimate drive for survival comes from the desire to protect the one you love.
The film looks like a war-flick on occasions, with intense Apocalypse Now-style imagery (check out the classical score blasted over the tannoys with sweeping shots of helicopters). Yet, Battle Royale works on many different levels, highlighting the authorities desperation to enforce law and order and the alienation caused by the generation gap. But whether you view the film as an important social commentary or simply enjoy the adrenalin-fuelled violence, this is set to become cult viewing for the computer game generation and beyond. --Nikki Disney
Original Theatrical Trailer
Mark Wyatt Film Notes
Asia Extreme Trailer Reel
Video Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital
A magnificent cult object --Time Out
A battle worth engaging in --Neo Mag
From the Back Cover
Overseen by a former teacher, Kitano ('Beat' Takeshi), and requiring that a randomly chosen school class be taken to a desert island and forced to fight each other to the death, the Act dictates that only one pupil be allowed to survive the punishment. He or she will return, not as the victor, but as the ultimate proof of the lengths to which the government are prepared to go to curb the tide of juvenile disobedience.
Likened to Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange by many critics, this explosive film shocked a nation with its violent portrayal of a society in ruins.