Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Movie Journal: Battle Royale

If they really end up remaking this Asian film in the United States(and there are those who plan to), Jack Johnson is going to physically explode. And by that, I mean that it would most likely be the most controversially violent movie in recent American history.

Imagine this: in the near future, an act is passed that allows the military move teenagers to remote islands for the performance of what is called a "Battle Royale". In this mandatory game, an explosive collar is attached to every player's neck. If anyone attempts to leave the island, his/her collar will activate and blow. In addition, in three days time, unless there is only one player left standing, every single collar will go off.

That is the premise to this absolutely nuts film. And I meant what I said about the violence. Each player is equipped with a random weapon in his bag. Sometimes it's an Uzi, sometimes it's a hand-grenade, sometimes it's a short sickle, and sometimes it's even a pot lid. In the case of one of the players, it turned out to be a Japanese fan. Another time, it was a container of poison. You get the idea.

Are you getting the mental picture of forty teenagers all tracking each other down and killing each other in bizarre and twisted ways? I'm telling you, man, Jack Johnson would totally lose it.

Of course, not everyone goes the route of death and destruction. Some commit suicide with their lovers, deciding that their not going to play this evil game. In contrast, one of the teens is a complete psycho, who wanted in the game in the first place. Some would normally not do these twisted things, but have grudges against other kids and feel justified under the circumstances. It's interesting to see how all the different characters respond to these bizarre events as they unfold.

All in all, Battle Royale was much more deep and insightful than I expected it to be. It's not like I'd watch it over and over several times, like I would Nightmare Before Christmas. That would almost be psychotic. But it's still a very cool and unique film and I'm glad I had the opportunity to experience it.

8 out of 10

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