Director: Kinji Fukasaku, Kenta Fukasaku
Writer: Kenta Fukasaku
Producer: Shigeyuki Endo
Cast: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda, Shugo Oshinari, Ayana Sakai, Riki Takeuchi, Natsuki Kato, Ai Iwamura, Masaya Kikawada, Aki Maeda, Takeshi Kitano, Sonny Chiba
Running Time: 134 min.
When good ideas go bad. Ok, so I can understand the point of Battle Royale. I loved the first movie. It made sense (in a sadistic sort of way) to have hooligan kids killing each other off. Fine. No problem. But why would they then, for the sequel, dress the kids up as soldiers, give them all assault rifles and send them in, under threat of collar-induced-head-explody, to kill Shuya Nanahara and his “terrorist” element of previous survivors of Battle Royale? It made no logical sense.
BRII was an excuse to show more kids getting shot and blubbering to each other about secret crushes and high school love in their death throes. Of course, after the initial idea fails, to kill Shuya the military sends in hundreds of actual soldiers. Well, that’s all fine and dandy; however, why not just nuke the island? It’s not as though they weren’t planning on killing everyone there anyway. Instead they sacrificed scores of highly trained soldiers in the assault against the untrained kids. Huh? Why??
I don’t know what Kinji Fukasaku was thinking when he decided to make a sequel. A sequel to Battle Royale wasn’t a bad idea in and of itself, however, what they decided to do with the story was. Turning Shuya from a troubled teen into a terrorist mastermind in 3 short years was simply too far fetched (even for the world of the BR movies) to be truly enjoyable.
The best thing about the movie was the character of Kitano’s daughter. I thought that was a very cool addition to the movie and to the story. It really tied the two movies together far better than what they did with Shuya.
Overall, stay away from BRII if you enjoyed the first one. It will only spoil your impression of the originality of BR. And, if you DO watch BRII, try not to laugh too hard at the absurd overacting of Riki Takeuchi playing a character named… Riki Takeuchi.
Equinox21’s Rating: 5/10