Monday, November 9, 2009

Movie Review: Battle Royale

Remember when you were fourteen and about to embark on your first day of high school? Remember how nervous you were, picking out an outfit the night before, making sure your mom knew not to kiss you in front of the other kids when she dropped you off, writing in your diary how you just knew this was going to be the best year ever! Then you got to school and your entire class was kidnapped and relocated to a remote island where you were forced to kill each other with a variety of useful-to-what-the-fuck-is-this "weapons" until only one of you survived because somehow this was going to help rejuvenate the socioeconomic infrastructure of Japan? Ah those were the days.

Battle Royale is like a reality show on steroids before satirists realized what an easy target reality shows made. Granted, there are no Big Brother cameras on the killing isle, but everyone seems to know the rules and the media crams its dirty fingers into the action before and after the battle. The rules are thus: one randomly selected ninth grade class must fight it out to the death; each individual is equiped with a surplus army bag containing a randomized weapon (god bless the kid who gets "tuning fork"); the island is separated into zones which "close" on an hourly basis, leaving any kid caught in the zone with a bad case of exploding head syndrome (each kid sports a nifty tracking collar laced with TNT). And watch out for the transfer students! Go for the glory, nubile youths!

You see, this government implemented annual killing spree is necessary to win back the respect of the Youths. The Adults are losing ground! Must save face! Youths are running wild, attacking teachers, not even bothering to show up for classes. Who do you think pays for your Reboks, kid? Get in the kitchen and mix Daddy a drink! 

So, listen, all you really have to know is, while the movie's premise is deliciously absurd, the action, cartoonish death scenes, and the heightened emotions of so many scared-shitless young go-getters is superb to the nth power. Old playground rivalries finally come to their intensified and permanent - some might say inevitable - conclusions. Allegiances are formed, enemies are everywhere, betrayal waits patiently in the wings, eating Grippos and tallying the dead. If you enjoyed any part of Kill Bill at all, you have to see this movie. Gogo Yubari kicks some serious ass in this movie, too!

Critics have called this movie a cross between Lord of the Flies and A Clockwork Orange. I call it just plain genius.

Tomorrow: Bend It Like Beckham


  1. I call it (and quite cleverly! Gold star, please) a cross between "what" and "the fuck." Seriously.

  2. That is very clever...I am tempted to delete this comment and steal it for myself.