Battle Royale (2000)

Directed By: Kinji Fukasaku

Written By: Kenta Fukasaku (screenplay) and Koushun Takami (novel)

Starring: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda and Tarô Yamamoto


If teenagers disrespect their teachers, their teachers will go medieval on their asses.


It’s appropriate that I’m reviewing this film in the wake of The Hunger Games. I’m not going into a long diatribe on the many similarities between the two films. I just wanted to say that I’m all for borrowing ideas and putting a personal spin on them but in this case, Suzanne Collins outright stole ideas from this novel without any mention of Battle Royale. If hip-hop artists have to pay royalties for sampling music, I think Suzanne Collins should share a few of her billions with Koushun Takami, the author of Battle Royale or as I prefer its original name Batoru Rowaiaru.

This film isn’t as great as other people make it out to be. It stinks of a low budget and special FX are comical. The acting is pretty weak save for; Takeshi Kitano, who made for a terrifying teacher, Chiaki Kuriyama, the mace wielding henchwoman from Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Tarô Yamamoto, who reminded me of a skinny Rambo.

This film will forever be overshadowed by its successor, which has taken its crown by coup d’etat. I still think Battle Royale is worth a watch for the sheer terror it evokes.

Problem: The ethics of the situation are glossed over

Mood for watching: Sadistic

What to eat and drink: Edo Japan and Sake

If I made it: I would need a translator to help me with the Japanese actors and crew

Why watch: The death count


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