As my first entry into the new Geek Culture section of this website, I thought I would take a look into what is currently big in the world of Geekdom. I think we all have heard about Hunger Games. The book series and subsequent film is currently the biggest grossing movie of 2012. But how many people have heard about Battle Royale? It is a Japanese novel that was published in 1999 and was later made into a movie.
A brief history of the film: It was made in Japan and received great reviews. But the film was never released in the USA. It was shown at some movie festivals but never made it into wide release. The movie was recently released on DVD, and came out around the same time as Hunger Games. When I saw it on the PlayStation Network, I knew it was one that I had to check out.
Seeing that the movie is from Japan, it has very little subtitles. The movie is dubbed over with Horrible American accents. There are certain scenes that could have used subtitles but suffered from incoherent film imaging on the screen that left me wondering what exactly was happening in the story. Aside from the slight mishaps the film vividly expresses elements of the violent and surreal.
The movie starts off with a briefing for the 42 students that are around the age of 15, who have been chosen to take part in the Battle Royale. Here you see how the film will proceed for the next 2 hours. It is going to be gory and in your face. Before the royale could even start, there were 2 quick deaths in the classroom. Here you get your first look at the death count. After each death, the screen goes to black and gives the name of who died and how many are left.
The story mainly follows two young teenagers in love. It does at points, check in with the other participants to see how they are fairing against the other participants. At times the two will work with others, and at other times, may be facing death unless they can kill their fellow students first. The kids range from all different kinds of emotions. We see some that are scared and try to start alliances, while others don’t think twice about killing their classmates.
The movie is a must see for the people who enjoy survival horror. The killings, which there are many of, are in your face and hide nothing. With each killing, the story progresses without a slow down at all. The movie is a decent two hours but I found it to go by quick. With 42 students in the Battle Royale, there is always something to see. It did a good job on focusing on the two main students but also did a good job on letting us see what the other students are doing. The movie does not let you down. Once you see it, you can see why it took so long for a release in the United States.