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View Full Version : Battle Royale II.....The PoorLogic Review


poorlogic
02-14-2004, 02:46 AM
The opening to Battle Royale II starts off with a bang…literally (think Fight Club).

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The setting is a couple of years after the original film with the character Shuya now known as a terrorist determined to take out all adults. It seems the Japanese government has decided they had enough Shuya and his Wild Seven terrorist regime, so they send in their most fierce fighting force; a group of unsuspecting high school students (or were they jr. high, does it really matter?).

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Following the original, they are sent through an underground tunnel, wake up with neckbands on and are roughly escorted to their new “teacher” Sensei (Riki Takeuchi) for a little battle prep. Sadly the character of Sensei acts like character straight out of “Roadhouse”.

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Loud, obnoxious and plenty of stupid grins with an annoying laugh to match - apparently a natural reaction to 600 Trim-spa pills he’s shown consuming over the next 20 minutes.

The students learn that in life, you can only be on a winning or losing team and that they must decide right now, which team they want to be on. The students are paired up and the majority of the team choices to be on the winning side, except for one student, who learns what it’s like to lose after a couple of bullets from Sensei.

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This sets off the neckband of the deceased student’s partner, who screams, runs around and then, you guessed it, dies of massive blood loss. New rule: your partner dies; you die in this new Battle Royale.

So the stage is set, the students are told they must meet several goals to finish the game. They are sent to the island on high-speed rafts and this is where the bloodbath begins! The film takes on a Saving Private Ryan look, and we see the horrors of combat – this goes on for way too long. Sadly, by this point, I knew so little about the characters; I could have cared less about who lived and who died.

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Some students manage to pick up on the situation and are able to fight and provide support to the groups, other just don’t have the ability to perform under the conditions and often cause more harm than good. As the remaining students make their way up the massive hill, they find tripwires everywhere. At this point, the character of Tukuma takes up a gun and starts firing away to help the others, which would have been great, but he only has 2 facial expressions: pissed and bug-eyed, through the entire film. I personally the acting ability of Shugo Oshinari was pretty weak and took away from the film’s seriousness.

As the battle continues, one of Shuya’s fellow terrorist notices that the army attacking them is wearing neckbands could they be students? What doesn’t help the kids is the fact that they all seem to have knowledge on field combat, weapons and battle strategy. Some shots in this film make these kids look like a SWAT team, I thought they only played rugby – they must have had ROTC activities as well. The students and the terrorists have a standoff, and more people die. Enter some homemade device (read: sticks with wires, possibly some plastic too) that creates electrical waves making the neckbands useless.

This is where the film official stops.

Beyond this point is utter crap, we learn that shy and quite (until she has a gun in her hand) Shiori has a connection to Takeshi Kitano, in which you will see a flashback over and over and over again.

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Shuya shows that he is much weaker than his Wild Seven statuses portray him as. The new character Takuma just sits and screams, using his two facial expressions to the best of his ability. Once the action starts up again, we are subjected to seeing the remaining deaths turned into a soap opera:

Scene: Some shit has been blown up (probably by them damn Americans) leaving one of the students mortally wounded.

Student Dying: “Chang, I…wanted to say…. one….last …thing…..”

Student not dying: “ Sunsi, save you strength, we’re going to get out of here”

Student Dying: “I always……loved…you” (turns her head, eyes close and dies)

Student not dying: “But you’re my sister, Sunsi, Sunsi! NOOOOOOOO!”
(Well, maybe if this was a Miike film)

This happens on every single death for the remainder of the film. Great way to kill the pace of the film, it will have you screaming at the screen.

We have a dramatic ending where the Japanese government has decided it’s time to end this Battle Royale for good, before America step in. What follows are more gunfights, CGI wounds and dramatic deathbed speeches for the next 15 minutes of the film. Then out of left field, we get hit with the return of Sensei, which makes no sense and adds nothing to the story.

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A final plan is made to help the survivors escape the island (who the fuck built this tunnel, that’s my question?), and a grand final shot of Shuya and new recruit Takuma going on a suicide mission against the attacking military.

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Who will win? Doesn’t matter because at this point, you’re on the losing team for watching this film till the end!

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This was reviewd from the Region 3 Universe Laser DVD (about $14.99 on eBay)

Video is 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen - very bright, I had to lower the contrast on my tv, but this could of been the fault of my region free player (Sampo). Not bad, not great.

The DTS audio track is kickass, works well with this type of action film.

English subs are ok, a bit off at certian points, but hell, with a movie this bad, it doesn't really matter.

dwatts
02-14-2004, 12:36 PM
I never thought the first film deserved all the praise it got. This one sounds like a real stinker. Way to kill a franchise :)

DefJeff
02-14-2004, 06:48 PM
Nice review Poorlogic. Thanks alot for reviewing it, I was actually thinking about picking this up out of curiosity, although along with Dwatts, I wasn't too impressed with the first one.

Now I know I will definitally be skipping this.

Nice screen shots!

shift
02-16-2004, 04:49 AM
ThankZ 4 the review. :)

Grim
02-17-2004, 03:20 AM
This saddens me, as the original is a huge favorite of mine. I'll probably pick it up at Horrorfind this year anyway.

DeathDealer
02-20-2004, 02:17 AM
You got to take it for what it is A Kenta Fuakasu film. The films is fucking amazing it it's own right look at it by it self and its damn good. This film is pushing the boundries now, after everything thats happened, they still push it. That's guts, it's better then making 50 first dates. At least their trying to get a serious issue across to the audience. Think on that.

BloodMan
02-20-2004, 03:41 AM
I don't know what's some peoples problem with this flick. This movie was awesome! A worthy follow up to the original IMO. I found it enjoyable from beginning to end. The message was nice and clear too. Some really brutal bits and pieces spattered throughout too. Fun stuff! :)

Nick

Grim
08-15-2004, 09:01 PM
I was expecting this to be complete dogshit after hearing all of the negative hype about it. I liked it. No where near as great as the original, but still an awesome film.

dwatts
08-15-2004, 09:10 PM
Well, let's be fair, it does sound a bit like the first film. A lot of criticisms aimed at it here, apply to the first too, imo.

Grim
08-15-2004, 09:15 PM
Well, let's be fair, it does sound a bit like the first film. A lot of criticisms aimed at it here, apply to the first too, imo.

True. Me being a big fan of the original might also play into why I liked this one.

dwatts
09-12-2004, 03:10 PM
I just saw the DVD in Germany. it ships with an actual backpack, with the logo on it. Very cool "feature".

welb25
09-12-2004, 04:36 PM
I really enjoyed the first film but I don't like Battle Royale II at all.

ZombieDrummer
09-12-2004, 05:19 PM
I enjoyed it, but not nearly as much as the first and after about half way through i started to get really sick of the endless cycle of -

1) A character gets mortally wounded.
2) He/she is dieing in someones arms, they tell them they love them.
3) They die.
4) the person holding them screams 'NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!' or the dead persons name, jumps up and fires a few shots and then gets mortally wounded.
5) repeat cycle.

As poorlogic said, it starts to get rediculous. It must happen to atleast 95% of the characters.

It happened alot in the first battle royale as well, but atleast we had some background to the characters, theres literally no character or relationship developement in BR2, and theres none of the flashbacks that i enjoyed from first. Plus the deaths are all really tame compaired to the first BR, in which they were so over the top gruesome that they were comical, in br2 its basically alot of gunshot wounds and explosions. Plus the story itself is a bit rediculous, imagine if bin Laden and his cronies had a rundown fortress on an abandoned island... is a bunch of school kids the most efecting way of taking 'em out?

Its a good film in its own right but an unessecary sequal as nothing really happens in it! The first one ended with so much promise, and again the second has an open ending... maybe number 3 will hit the spot?

tobaccoman
09-25-2004, 04:30 AM
I have not seen either, but have heard very good things about the 1st one and I plan on picking it up the first chance I get. I think I will probably judge on that, but by the sound of it, the 2nd kind of sucks so now I'm not so sure about that one. I've heard the same from other sources too, so don't feel bad about turning me away from BR2! I will still pick up the 1st FOR SURE.