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Batoru rowaiaru II: Rekuiemu (2003)

Battle Royale II, Battle Royale II: Requiem

This time its war.

Starring:

Ai Maeda

Aki Maeda

Ayana Sakai

Haruka Suenaga

Masaya Kikiwada

Miyuki Kanbe

Natsuki Kato

Riki Takeuchi

Shugo Oshinari

Tatsuya Fujiwara

Yoko Maki

Yuma Ishigaki

Yuuki Ito

Directed by:

Kenta Fukasaku

Kinji Fukasaku

Rating: 3/10

Running Time: 134 minutes

UK Certificate: 18

On DVD

Country: Japan

The original ‘Battle Royale’, about a throng of kiddy-winks dumped on an island and forced to bludgeon each other to death, didn’t make a great deal of sense – but at least it was fairly entertaining. This ill-advised follow-up lasts too long, tries far too hard to recreate its predecessor, and suffers from a nasty case of horrendous over-acting.

It’s three years later, and previous BR champ Shuya Nanahara (Tatsuya Fujiwara) has vowed never to forgive Japan’s adult population for what they did to him and his classmates. A resourceful sort of fellow, he’s declared war on all oldies, set up his own kiddies’ terrorist group called “Wild Seven”, and set up a base camp on a remote island. Of course, you’d think the easiest way for the Japanese Government to deal with this little problem would be to wait until this gang of fresh-faced rebels have gone to the tuck shop and then either bomb them or send in the army. But no, it can never be that simple – so they decide to fight tots with tots and send in a classload of their fellow schoolies to take them out.

The opening 20 minutes or so are practically identical to the original, with the school kids being taken to a dimly-lit room where they’re forced by a barking-mad teacher to either take part in the plan or die. From then on, though, it’s a tedious pitched battle, first between the two sets of ankle-biters and then between the newly-united kids’ alliance and the disgruntled national authorities. When it’s not showing scene after scene of poorly-filmed fighting, it’s getting bogged down with political high-horsing about America and its slight tendency to blow up anyone with a difference of opinion.

Most of the acting is so bad that it’s a bit like watching an exceptionally bad panto. The guy who really sticks in my memory is the near-rabid teacher, whose unintentionally hilarious performance culminates in him dressing up in full PE kit and indulging in a one-man game of “Death Rugby”. Sorry, but there’s no other word for that than silly.

‘Battle Royale II’ is the last film to be made by revered Japanese director Kinji Fukasaku, who died midway through production. His son, Kenta, took over its completion, but sadly the result is a damp squid that doesn’t do any justice to its helmsman’s incredible back catalogue of credits. My advice to anyone interested in sampling the man’s work would be to look at anything other than this one.

It's Got: A kid with a wacky Carlos Valderrama hairdo.

It Needs: To explain what happens when the totsy terrorists grow into adults themselves – do they just switch allegiances??

DVD Extras Director biography, notes and filmography, along with a reel of trailers. DVD Extras Rating: 3/10

Alternatives:

Battle Royale, Lord of the Flies

Summary

An inferior sequel-cum-remake of a film that wasn’t particularly great in the first place.

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One Comment

  1. Kimono Kijiwa
    Posted November 27, 2009 at 4:18 am | Permalink

    The objective behind sending the kids was to reject Shuya’s challenge. Shuya wanted to fight a war against adults. The adults wanted to *reject* the challenge and force him to kill fellow children.

    The objective was to humiliate Shuya and his cause. The kids would also be easier to kill, and it would soften Shuya for a real attack in case the kids don’t kill him immediately. Also sending the kids to die would mean that adults, who are “valuable,” would not be killed unecessarily.

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