AKA: Battlefield Stadium
Director: Yudai Yamaguchi
Producer: Ryuhei Kitamura
Cast: Tak Sakaguchi, Atsushi Ito, Hideo Sakaki
Running Time: 87 min.
Without knowing anything about the movie Battlefield Baseball, I decided to pick it up (a bootleg, unfortunately, as it’s the only format that’s affordable) only because it was a re-teaming of actor Tak Sakaguchi and producer Ryuhei Kitamura of Versus fame. I was expecting another bloody action packed extravaganza, starring Tak as Jubeh kicking ass and taking names. Well, it’s not exactly that, at all. In fact, it’s about as different from Versus as you can get, while still embodying a similar feel.
While Versus is an action movie through and through, Battlefield Baseball is a total slapstick comedy, complete with song and dance (pretty miserably sung by Tak, I might add). The plot involves a high school team that gets slaughtered by a rival team that doesn’t PLAY Baseball… it FIGHTS Baseball. Jubeh transfers to the losing High School and is convinced to pick up the sport he gave up years earlier, after his powerful pitch accidentally killed his father. Jubeh becomes the savior of the team, which is then reduced to whoever can be scraped up to fill the ranks, as the regular players have all been killed in horrible, nasty ways by the evil, zombie-like high school team (who all look like Clive Barker creations).
BB is more like a live action anime movie than any other film I’ve ever seen. The characters (especially the evil ones who are all painted blue) are so animated and over the top that it wouldn’t have shocked me if they had actually been ANIMATED. But, alas, it was only a hokey, live action movie that was reminiscent of something you might see in anime form. The comedy doesn’t really work for the most part, but there were a few scenes that had me chuckling.
Don’t get Battlefield Baseball expecting another Versus or Azumi. That was my mistake. Even though I enjoyed it, it’s a completely different movie from Versus and Azumi. Tak Sakaguchi still rules, and I’ll still check out anything that Ryuhei Kitamura is involved in, and even though it was amusing, Battlefield Baseball is, unfortunately, not one of either of their best efforts.
Equinox21’s Rating: 7/10