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Battle Royale (2000)


This must be one of the most popular Japanese movies released into the international market and It should be. Based on a novel by Takami Koshun the story is about a group of school students going on their end of year school trip. Although the students are secretly drugged and then shipped to an abandoned island to take part in…Battle Royale

Battle Royale is a law which has been allowed by the government to allow a group of students to live on an island for three days to kick one another until there is one person left alive, they are all giving a bag, which contains a map of the island, a compose, food, water and a weapon (the weapons range from a Pot Lid to a Pump Action Shot Gun). Of course the students didn’t believe this at all until there teacher Mr. Kitano (played by ‘Beat’ Takashi) arrives and tells them there is no escape, unless they all die apart from one. Mr. Kinato seems ruthless to begin with as he kills two of the students, Sakura Ogawa (played by Tomomi Shimaki) and Nobu (played by Kukihiro Kontai).

One of the key students is Shuya Nanahara (played by Tatsuya Fujiwara) after seeing the death of his best friend, Nobu he knew this is going to trouble. As soon as the Battle Royale began he chose not to kill any of his fellow class mates. He forms a friendship with a girl in his class, Noriko Nakagawa (played by Aki Maeda).

Noriko seems to be the sweet innocent looking girl. Even Mr. Kinato has feelings for Noriko, he even thinks of her as the Star Pupil of the class. Noriko is against all the killing, she acts in denial and believes there is a way out. She believes that she could trust and only trust Nanahara. I believe that both Nanahara and Noriko could have some chemistry between them. Although Nanaharas late friend, Nobu admitted his feelings for Noriko, this preventing Nanahara from making any moves.

Although the Island isn’t filled with Good Students. Mitsuko Souma (played by Kou Shibasaki) who turns out to be quite the little killer. With a dark past she’s well suited for Battle Royale. Two other characters, who stand out in the film well is; Shougo Kawada (played by Tara Yamamoto) and Kazuo Kiriyama (played by Masanobu Ando). Kawada turns out to be a professional when it comes to Battle Royale, with his past revealing that he won last Battle Royale. He didn’t want to come back to this years one, but they managed to drug him and drag him back to this hell hole. The other student is Kiriyama, he is one evil dude. Kiriyama’s reason for participating in this years Battle Royale was for the fun of killing people. Kiriyama mange’s to kill up to 12 of the students participating.

Battle Royale a very very very different film. Although it is very original. If Takami Koshun didn’t write the novel, then I wouldn’t think anyone else came up with the idea called Battle Royale. Yet this is a kick ass action flick to please any Asian Action Cinema fan. Although I haven’t seen the 2nd helping of Battle Royale, I’m very curious of what will happen in this film and will it be as good as the original?

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The Podcast On Fire Network aims to provide a large, continually expanding overview of Asian cinema. On the flagshow Podcast On Fire, the big guns out of Hong Kong cinema gets a spotlight through discussion and review while the remainder of the network shows gives you insight into Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese cinema and the history of adult oriented Hong Kong cinema!

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