Feature Film | Thriller | Japan | Japanese | 1h54m
Dir: Fukasaku Kinji | Scr: Fukasaku Kenta | Novel: Takami Koushun | Ph: Yanagijima Katsumi | Prod: Fukasaku Kenta, Fukasaku Kinji, Kataoka Kimio, Kobayashi Chie, Nabeshima Toshio, & Okada Masumi | Mus: Amano Masamichi | Ed: Abe Hirohide | PD: Heya Kyōko | Snd: Ando Kunio | Cast: Fujiwara Tatsuya, Kitano Takeshi, Maeda Aki, Yamamoto Taro, Ando Masanobu, Shibasaki Kō, Kuriyama Chiaki, Takaoka Sosuke, Tsukamoto Takashi, Kotani Yukihiro, Ishikawa Eri, Kamiya Sayaka
In Fukasaku’s cartoonishly entertaining if mildly dispiriting dystopian nightmare, a class of 15-year-olds, selected at random to be this year’s Battle Royale contestants, find that they must fight each other to the death (over a three day period on a deserted island), or else face having their heads blown off. Characterisation is functional at best, whilst the nonsensical narrative works neither as straight fiction nor allegory. However, the film’s imaginatively violent action sequences do manage to titillate throughout, whilst its frequent flashbacks offer a few much needed moments of tenderness. Vaguely repellent, then, but strangely compelling, never the less.