Battle Royale II, Battle Royale II: Requiem
This time its war.
Running Time: 134 minutes
UK Certificate: 18
The original Battle Royale, about a throng of kiddy-winks dumped on an island and forced to bludgeon each other to death, didnt 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.
Its three years later, and previous BR champ Shuya Nanahara (Tatsuya Fujiwara) has vowed never to forgive Japans adult population for what they did to him and his classmates. A resourceful sort of fellow, hes 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, youd 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 theyre forced by a barking-mad teacher to either take part in the plan or die. From then on, though, its 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 its not showing scene after scene of poorly-filmed fighting, its 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 its 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 theres 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 doesnt do any justice to its helmsmans incredible back catalogue of credits. My advice to anyone interested in sampling the mans 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
An inferior sequel-cum-remake of a film that wasnt particularly great in the first place.