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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Waiting for something better?
Battle Royale is perhaps my favourite movie of all time and I was looking forward greatly to the sequel. Although it is not as good as the original it is still a good film, may be it with some problems.
It is good that the film is not just a rehash of the first with a new equally implausable plot line. But it was not the plot that made the first movie special it was...
Published on 20 Nov 2004 by Gareth Barns

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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars War - what is it good for?
The first BR was the sort of film that you either loved due to pushing the envelope further than deemed possible, or hated because you hadn't seen it, but the Daily Mail said it was "EVIL!!!". So, when a sequel comes along, promising to take the initial premise one giant leap further, you expect fireworks. Do we get them? Well...
Things start off with a bang -...
Published on 27 July 2004 by Mr. Od Smith


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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars War - what is it good for?, 27 July 2004
By 
Mr. Od Smith "d2kvirus" (Coulsdon, Surrey) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Battle Royale 2: Requiem [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
The first BR was the sort of film that you either loved due to pushing the envelope further than deemed possible, or hated because you hadn't seen it, but the Daily Mail said it was "EVIL!!!". So, when a sequel comes along, promising to take the initial premise one giant leap further, you expect fireworks. Do we get them? Well...
Things start off with a bang - literally, making 9/11 look like a party popper as Tokyo is brought to the ground by the Wild Seven terrorist group, led by BR survivor Shuya Nanahara. Here, the premise is set up - war has been declared against adults, but the adults don't want to play. This time, the students are selected to storm their hideout, and waste anyone and everyone there.
Of course, the ante has to be upped to avoid a repeat of the first film. And this is done on two levels. Firstly, the action is explosive, visceral and breathtaking, tearing a page from the storyboards of Saving Private Ryan, and upping the adrenaline to make an insane sequence as the students storm the beach. Secondly, crucially, there is a slight alteration to the collars - every student has an opposite, Boys #3 and Girls #3, for example. And if one of them dies in whatever circumstances, the other collar is set to blow as well. Naturally, these combine to get the bodycount off to a sprint start, with 18 (EIGHTEEN!) students dead in the space of a few short minutes. But this is where the main problem of BR2 lies - you don't care about the dead students (you don't even know their names until the post mortem roll call), so your reaction isn't shock, it's to look at the screen and go "Cool!"
Compared with the first film, this is a serious lack. In the first, you actually cared about the students and what happened to them, as they were fleshed out and had their own back stories - be it Shuya, Kawada, Mimura, Nobu, Chigusa or fan-favourite Kiriyama. Here, the only character that resonates is Kitano's daughter, which says how ineffective a male lead Takuma is. It also highlights the other major loss from the first film - Takeshi Kitano is only in one scene of the film, rather than casually stealing it as he did first time. Takashi Miike regular Riki Takeuchi tries to fill the void, and brings some menace to his character, but was on to a losing battle from the start, while Sonny Chiba's role as Mimura's uncle is too short to mean much. If the characters were just shooting each other for a couple of hours, this might not be as notable, but long stretches of the film are just the characters reflecting and contemplating - but it just doesn't wash, for the basic reason they aren't characters, merely archetypes.
Yes, the film redeems itself towards the end with an intense, drawn out battle between Wild Seven and Special Forces, as well as a hilarious sequence with the Japanese PM arguing with Takeuchi and some non-too flattering allusions to the US, but it doesn't work in the way it clearly should. And the rugby allegory is plain criminal.
As a testament to Kinji Fukasaku's career (he died during filming, and son Kenta took over), it doesn't seem to be a fitting send off. It may fail to miserably fail to live up to the first film, and does not favour considerably, but it does stand up on some of its points and sequences. However, it is not as bad as the hardcore BR fans and critics alike make it out to be. Worth satisfying your curiosity with, if nothing more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 19 Jan 2005
By 
eileen kenny (bristol, avon United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Extremely disappointing compared to the first chapter. The original director died before this was finished and his son took over, and no hard feelings sonny boy but you really can tell. The first 10-15 minutes rehash the same old same old, bunch of kids get kidnapped, thrown in a room, a previously normal teacher rising to the post of psychotic tormentor with surprising ease. There is still something not right though, something about the sets (are they a little more garishly colourful? or dare I say it... tacky?) and the actors (over the top, sometimes just plain silly). The whole things comes off as slightly ridiculous and once we reach the half way point of the movie, things really start to drag. The films only saving grace is the return of our old friend Nanahara Shuya, who is just the same brooding, shaking good-time guy as ever. But without him, I'm afraid to say, the whole thing would just fall apart (and I think it may have done anyway). A poor imitation. Do yourself a favour and stick to Battle Royale 1: the original and in my opinion the only one worth bothering about.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This time it's war - not as good as the first, but it's okay., 5 Nov 2007
By 
@GeekZilla9000 "I am completely operational a... (Doncaster, Yorkshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Battle Royale 2: Requiem [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
I expected this film to be a basic retelling of the first film but with a different cast - but I was pleasantly surprised to see that although much of the film felt similar, it was actually very different. Critics of the film will focus on the fact that it still involves school kids with exploding collars around their necks who are put on an Island to kill or be killed, but the fact is that the story which drives the film, is more politically charged than the first.

A terrorist group called `Wild Seven', led by Suya Nanahara (the male survivor of the prequel) has declared war on grown ups. The Battle Royale Act has been re-drafted and a bunch of school kids are put on an island and tasked with killing Nanahara within 72 hours - or be killed themselves.

As with the first film, there is a running count given of fallen students, starting with 40; the group soon dwindles as they come under fire. Instead of killing each other, they are effectively an army platoon.

The opening scenes which show the terrorist attacks in Tokyo at the hands of Wild Seven sees the destruction of several sky-scrapers, reminiscent of the 11th September attacks in the US. The opening is set to a fantastic musical score which doesn't hold up as well during the rest of the film. It isn't too long before we see Riki Takeuchi's over the top performance as the teacher explaining to the students what they must do. The audience cannot help but despise this evil figure as he takes great delight in explaining that the students must choose to be a winner (face almost certain death) or a loser (face a very certain death) - this is demonstrated whilst the pupils are locked in a giant cage and one is exterminated. But as the film develops we see another side to him as we learn about his own loss. Another difference in the sequel is the buddy-system. Each boy is allocated a buddy girl. If one dies then the buddy then dies also (via the explosive neck collars). The same applies if they wander too far form each other.

Takeuchi's performance is very much over acted and takes away from the gravitas of the situation. But it is he who introduces the strong political element of the film...

....The main difference with the first film is the explicit international politics expressed in the film. The teacher starts scribbling the names of countries on a blackboard whilst yelling them out. He then explains that all these countries (including Japan) have something in common - they have all been bombed by the USA in the last 60 years, "8 million dead among 22 nations!". Later on in the film there are constant references to "The other country" threatening to bomb the Island unless they can expunge the terrorists, but it's pretty obvious that these are references to the US.

The film deals with issues such as terrorism, and questions how we think about terrorists - are they wrong? Are we supporting the right side? Should we listen and perhaps join the terrorists? The film has its flaws, such as a plot which seems to meander away from itself too much, not enough emotion and very little character development, and expression a bit too childish (a war on all grown ups). There also seems to be some plot holes; why is Wild Seven on the island? If the Government want them destroyed then surely they can just do it themselves. America is seen as an international super-bully which has destabilised the world by bombing everyone, but then is seen as an ally against Wild Seven - what happened in-between? How can the Islanders get enough power to run a media operation and run the various technology there?

But these questions, and the over acting which sometimes stands out like a sore thumb are often balanced by some of the fantastic scenes in the film, such as the initial landings on the Island - similar to those seen in documentaries and films about the Second World War..

This is one of those films I would give 3.5 stars to, but seeing as I have to choose either 3 or 4, I'll opt for three. A good sprinkling of extras like those issued with the various releases of the first film could tip this to a four.

It isn't very often you come across a film which dares to look at the international political situation from a different angle. A bit more clarity would have earned this another star from me.

Without doubt, the most impressive thing about this film is that it questions the viewer, not just a questioning of good taste as some would argue, but it questions the way we think about involvement of the US and the reaction of so called `terrorist' groups. The teacher argues that "there are only two sides in life, winners and the losers... It's black or white, there's nothing in between" - but that isn't the case, it isn't as easy as that, there are huge grey areas in-between, that that is what the film invites you to consider.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The worst sequel of all time?, 13 Nov 2010
By 
Will (Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Battle Royale 2: Requiem [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
This is nothing on the original. The characters are terrible, you wont feel any emotion towards them because the whole thing plays like a rambo film and completely loses the individuality of BR1. Shuya (the survivor of BR1) is a completely different character in this film and someone you cant empathise with at all. The plot is dull and ridiculous, the kids are somehow transformed into professionals, the dialogue rambles on..It was really hard to sit through it to the end. The director of the original died of cancer and only filmed the first day on set of this sequel and his son then took up the director role. And clearly failed miserably. I'm not surprised he wants this to be thought of as his fathers final film rather than his first...it is just so incredibly boring. BR1 wasnt a masterpiece but it was a great film and everything that made it great is lost or completely forgotten about in this confusing mess of a sequel. Oh and the teacher in this film...really really comical. It is just awful.

The one plus is Natsuki Kato who plays Saki Sakurai, possibly the hottest sniper in any film ever. If you have to watch it then shes the reason to. But yeah, it's still rubbish.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars awfull, 27 April 2006
By 
G. Bradwick (aberystwyth, wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Battle Royale 2: Requiem [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
after the brilliance of the first (the thought of having to kill your own friend is scary in itself)you would think that the second one would perhaps realy at least alittle bit on those same terrors. no. they now don't have to kill eachother, but have to kill someone else. That slices the horror in half instantly.

The stuff they copied from the first one becomes null and void about half way through as their is no need for it. it becomes a diffrent story then. The one word that kept going through my head whilst waching this film was 'overindulgent'. Their is absolutly no need for such strong political comments on the war. Granted the first one had a politcal statement to make, but it told it with a rawness and realism that is just missing from this sequal. the sequence with childran from Afganhistan was just cringeworthy!

What once was a franchise that had one of the best storylines and the one of the best films i have ever seen, is now recked with this overindulgent, pointless political statment.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but disappointing, 1 Sep 2004
By 
A. Skudder (Crawley, West Sussex) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Battle Royale 2: Requiem [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
You either loved Battle Royale or it did nothing for you. Those latter people are not going to be interested in this film at all. Fans of the original are going to want to see this, but might well be as disappointed as I was.
There are plenty of good points to this sequel, but it really does have something missing - Takeshi Kitano for a start. The teacher in Requiem really does take overacting to a new level! What is really missing is the sense of shock and surprise. The film is slow to start because it covers the same ground in that we see a group of kids at their school, then on a bus at the end of the year, then getting gassed and waking up in a base camp and getting the orientation speech from their teacher. While the kids might be surprised at all this, the audience is not - they saw it all in Battle Royale so the scene where packs are given out seems to go on forever.
The premise of the first film was a bit shaky, but we overlooked that for the sake of enjoyment. In this case its just plain bizarre: a terrorist who has destroyed half of Tokyo (Nanahara from the first film) is hiding on an island. The government knows exactly where they are so instead of just sending in the SAS or bombing the place to the ground or anything easy like that, they send in forty or so untrained schoolchildren. In case that is too easy they put limitations on the kids by making pairing them up so that their heads get blown off if they stray more than 50m from each other. In case that was not hard enough they still impose arbitrary 'danger zones' and send the kids in without ammunition and parachute that in separately, right into the line of fire, which was the point where willing suspension of disbelief became impossible.
However, once the action starts, you do get wrapped up in it. The beach landing is a non-too-subtle homage to Saving Private Ryan, even using the same grainy, jumpy camera effect. The battle scenes are bloodthirsty, with effective use of the surround sound channels to add even more zip to them.
Unfortunately good action is not enough to sustain a film entirely and when the action lets up so does the interest level because the characters are just not as engaging. Even the action get a bit stale as there is not the variety this time round - every kid has the a gun so its all shooting and gun battles, so while the effects seem more bloody than in Battle Royale (especially the collar explosions), there is none of the inventiveness. The little bit of anti-American politics, while probably valid, is shoe-horned into the plot.
Maybe its all just a cultural thing, and the story, style and acting on this do not translate as well for a European mindset, but I felt this film did not live up to expectations.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It's official, 27 Sep 2006
By 
David Welsh (Oslo, Norway) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Battle Royale 2: Requiem [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Well, it was a close run thing, but Battle Royale 2 has to take the crown as the official Worst Film I've Ever Seen. Most of the 2 hours or so of my life I wasted on watching this bizarre, rambling trash was spent thinking to myself "but the first one was so brilliant, I'm sure this one'll get better if I just stick with it." But it didn't - it got worse. And then it got even worse.

Just so we're clear, it's not funny bad, it's not kitsch bad - it's just incredibly poorly written and directed. The confused, amorphous plot doesn't hang together, the characters are terrible - you don't really get what's going on, and you don't care about the characters. Please take my word for it - don't buy this film, don't watch it, don't let anyone you care about watch it. It's 2 hours of your life you're never going to get back.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid this movie. 2 hours of tripe., 26 July 2008
This review is from: Battle Royale 2: Requiem [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
First let me say that I thought the original Battle Royale was ok, nothing more, but ok.

However this film is probably one of the worst I have ever had the misfortune to sit through. There are so many things wrong with it I don't know where to start. Had the film not had so much violence and killing it could have been classified as a badly made film about children aimed at children. However due to the content I review it as an adult movie.

The story is ludicrous to begin with, but as with many movies we accept that we have to suspend logic to some extent. In this case to get over the child army's efficient demolition of a Special Forces army requires the viewer to disengage the brain altogether.

The characters are ridiculous to the extent rarely seen in western movies. In the UK one would have to visit a Pantomime to see such an over the top villain, whilst I have rarely seen such a proliferation of angst ridden snarling teenage rebel heroes in one movie. This combined with the ubiquitous fluffy haired Japanese pseudo-punk make for the most annoying cast I have see for some time.

Many of the lines issued throughout the film seem to have been lifted directly from the `Airplane' movies or `Austin Powers'. Classics such as this line from a miscellaneous enemy who has just been shot, `You have shot me....shit', followed by, `I....to....have a.....family'. Then we have the deep and thoughtful leader of the freedom fighters with the philosophical statement `Living seriously is a hundred times harder than dying'. Well actually watching this film is a hundred times harder than dying to be honest.

The movie is peppered with slow motion shots of various cast members getting popped off and segments with melancholy piano music.

Somewhere in the film there are references to war and clips of Afghanistan. I am not sure if there is supposed to be a message in this film at some level. The only message coming through to me loud and clear was `In future be very wary of watching Japanese movies'.

Had the female cast of the film been wearing traditional Japanese school girls uniforms I might have given it two stars, but sadly even this detail was over looked, and for that reason I give it only one.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointing Sequel., 10 Sep 2004
This review is from: Battle Royale 2: Requiem [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Battle Royale 2 starts off well with an almost indentical beggining to first film with the exception of the 9/11 scene. The kids get kidnapped on the bus home are taken to an army base and are forced to join the BR:II program which basically involves them having to kill Shuya Nanahara (Survivor from the first film and now is some kind of comedy terrorist). Then a bizzarre saving Private Ryan scene occurs the kids arrive at the island to find Shuya and are bombarded by invisible people with endless ammo and pratically all the cast are killed 15 minutes into the film. It does pick up in places especially with the Kitano's daughter sub-plot but that's about it. The Battle or "War" scenes are tedious and stupid the new Temp teacher has none of the charisma of Beat Takashi and is over acted to the point of slapstick and as for the fact the film obviously is a big two fingers up to America constant refrencing to stupid things America have done (nuking Japan) is interesting at first but becomes tiresome when they starts becoming Pro-Terrorist. The ending is unintentially funny also. DVD extras are poor some trailers and directors notes means a SE will be out shortly. ;-) One for the fans only.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Waiting for something better?, 20 Nov 2004
This review is from: Battle Royale 2: Requiem [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Battle Royale is perhaps my favourite movie of all time and I was looking forward greatly to the sequel. Although it is not as good as the original it is still a good film, may be it with some problems.
It is good that the film is not just a rehash of the first with a new equally implausable plot line. But it was not the plot that made the first movie special it was the fantastic characterisation, relationships and motives of the characters. Sadly most of these things are missing with only a few characters getting special attention and the rest being forgettable gun fodder. But then this is more a war film, exploring the larger issues at the expense of individual players. The score is once again excellent and nevermind what other people say the effects are as good as most other films you'll see.
Politically wise you may not enjoy it as much if you are American, although nothing is lied about. Its not pro-terrorism. Nanahara is more portrayed as a confused man not an evil killer. There is also the fact that it is a choice for the game players between sympathetic terrorists or a government with a "dont give a f*** about anyone else" attitude who make them kill or be killed. It is just very much anti-conflict like the first film.
I didnt buy this but rented it for two good reasons:
1. The extras are rubbish
2. There is a special edition, which has been released in Japan and hopefully will be as big an improvement on the original as the special edition of the first film was.
In short unless your obsesses dont buy this film. Not because it is terrible, but because there is better coming.
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Battle Royale 2: Requiem [DVD] [2003]
Battle Royale 2: Requiem [DVD] [2003] by Kinji Fukasuki (DVD - 2004)
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