Battle Royale (2000)

Pros
  • This is the R-rated version of The Hunger Games......in fact it's The Hunger Games on steroids
  • The violence is completely over the top, but very stylized and never glorified
  • The opening scene showing the little girl (with a creepy smile) as the winner of the previous year and then cutting to the title card with the music playing really hits the spot
  • After the opening scene, the movie gets the exposition out of the way in a very effective manner
  • Some of the weapon choices are just plain unfair, like holy cow
  • Quentin Tarantino said this is the number one movie he wished he could have directed, it is also one of his personal favorites
  • Crazy to see how different characters react to the situation, some not adjusting at all and some killing others immediately after the 'game' starts
  • This is a movie that America could not or would not ever make, that speaks volumes
  • Portrays the young kids (9th graders) not taking the gravity of the situation serious enough, sad but potentially true
  • Brilliant and effective to see the director have the characters trying to maintain their normal lives and attitudes (quadratic formula, gossiping about one another, first kisses, sex/virginity, hazing, crushes, etc) during the battle
  • There is even a 'black widow' of sorts......and I'm not talking about the spider
  • They just had to throw in 2 extra, badass assassins into the mix as if the situation wasn't already tough enough
  • For the love of God, do not worry about the body count not being high enough!

Cons
  • Unrealistic that they just happen to have the ingredients to make a bomb just lying around
  • There is a lot of characters with guns who miss their targets 6 feet in front of them!
  • Kitano's backstory is a bit murky or undefined

Score: 9/10

Easily one of the most controversial movies of all time, Battle Royale holds absolutely nothing back in this tale of mayhem. Battle Royale follows the tagline from Platoon, "Innocence is the first casualty of war", that sure has hell applies here as our young children are forced to murder one another in hopes of surviving. It's crazy to see half the children trying to work together and the other half completely turning into sadistic psychos trying to eliminate their classmates in a moments notice. The movie could have been a complete disaster and face even more backlash than it already received, but the movie offers plenty of lighter/heartfelt moments to push the movie from senseless violence into something else. Oh and if you are curious as to which movie is better between Battle Royale and The Hunger Games..........it's not even close, Battle Royale!