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Battle Royale (Special Edition) [Director's Cut] (2000)

Beat Takeshi Kitano , Masanobu Ando , Kinji Fukasaku  |  NR |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (391 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Beat Takeshi Kitano, Masanobu Ando, Ai Maeda, Chiaki Kuriyama, Kou Shibasaki
  • Directors: Kinji Fukasaku
  • Format: Widescreen, DTS Surround Sound, Surround Sound, Subtitled, NTSC, Import
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English, Korean
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Starmax
  • DVD Release Date: May 15, 2007
  • Run Time: 122 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (391 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000A2WDEO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #379,353 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Detailed item info In a future where society is on the verge of collapse, the government takes drastic action against the problem of rebellious teenagers in this violent sci-fi opus from Japan. In the year 2002, Japan's economy has taken a dramatic turn for the worse, and massive unemployment and inflation have thrown most adults into a state of chaos; the nation's youth culture responds with unprecedented violence, delinquency, and truancy. Desperate to restore order, the Japanese parliament responds by creating the Millennial Reform School Act, in which groups of junior high students are selected at random, sent to an isolated island, and forced to play a rigorous war game, in which all but one of their number are killed. Kitano (Beat Takeshi) is an embittered school instructor who guides the 44 students of the Zentsuji Middle School's Class B through the deadly game known as "Battle Royale," as they struggle to survive against the elements and each other. BATTLE ROYALE proved to be both successful and highly controversial in Japan, where it set box-office records and prompted political leaders to call for stricter controls on violence in Japanese entertainment; the film was initially rated R-15 (no one under 15 admitted), unusual for violent films in Japan, though director Kinji Fukasaku later prepared a re-edited version that earned a more lenient classification.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
100 of 108 people found the following review helpful
Format:Blu-ray
With the emergence of "The Hunger Games" phenomenon of the last few years, the inevitable comparisons between that franchise and the cult novel "Battle Royale" by Koushun Takami have been plentiful. Sure, the two do share strong thematic and narrative similarities, but each has a distinctly unique vibe and explores the back story behind the violence in a different way. The film adaptation of "Battle Royale" by director Kenji Fukasaku garnered almost instant international notoriety in 2000 for its disturbingly bleak portrait of kids set upon one another in a violent death match. Despite being banned and reviled by many, the story's visceral and emotional punch was hard to deny. It was nominated for numerous Japanese Academy Awards including Best Film, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Screenplay and won that country's "Popularity Award." The rumor that Hollywood was flirting with an American remake has been circulating for years, but some seem to think that the film adaptation of "The Hunger Games" might have hurt the likelihood of this occurrence. In any event, I never had high hopes that an American interpretation could rival the original.

"Battle Royale" is being released in two incarnations, a film only DVD/ Blu-ray or "The Complete Collection" DVD/Blu-ray.

Film Only: This includes the Director's Cut of the film. First, the story is about a future Japan whose economy is in collapse and whose crime rate is spiraling out-of-control. In an effort to temper this uptick in violence by the juvenile population, the government has sanctioned an annual contest. In the movie, forty-two middle school aged students are dropped off and left to battle one another for survival. They are armed and coerced into fighting, for there can be only one winner left alive.
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52 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We, who are about to die... September 21, 2005
Format:DVD
"Battle Royale" is a superb film, subtle and sad and over-the-top and loud all at the same time. The story is often compared to "Lord of the Flies," but that is a bit of a misnomer. "Lord of the Flies" was about reverting to primitivism, whereas "Battle Royale" is a futuristic cautionary tale in the tune of "1984" and "Brave New World." The caution at work here is the threat of absolute bureaucracy, and the dangers of the loss of the value of life and respect in a rules-dominated society. This is a threat quite apparent in modern Japan.

The actors in "Battle Royale" all deliver excellent performances, including the amazing talent "Beat" Takeshi Kitano playing the appropriately named "Kitano." The film was not directed by Takeshi however, so it lacks his beautiful visual style. It does however feature one of his riveting paintings. There is a good range of responses from the various actors playing the students, from outright suicide, to panic, to a drive to win to a drive to help. Unfortunately, the character of Kazuo Kiriyama (the machine gun boy) is woefully underdeveloped, and instead of the fierce, cold genius of the book he is a somewhat characterless villain.

While a violent film, I wouldn't characterize "Battle Royale" as an action film per se. Anyone looking for a Hong Kong-style action film should realize that Japan and China are quite different countries with different approach to movies.. "Battle Royale" retains the quietude and patient pacing that is the hallmark of Japanese cinema, and which leaves some viewers bored, who are used to a quicker pacing. The bloodshed, while in great quantity, is also more cartoony in nature, which is also more typical of Japanese films, which does not favor a naturalistic approach.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No mercy February 18, 2012
Format:DVD
Imagine this: a country is run by a totalitarian government, which occasionally selects groups of teenagers to methodically kill each other. On TV. Until only one remains.

"The Hunger Games"? No, actually it's "Battle Royale," a bloody and harrowing movie that came out several years earlier, depicting an alternate Japan where the youth are forced to kill each other. It's one of those movies that is strangely fascinating and filled with social commentary, with brilliant performances from pretty much everyone concerned.

A class of high-schoolers are being transported on a bus, when they are gassed to unconsciousness. When they awake, they have electronic collars around their necks. A former teacher named Kitano explains that they have been chosen for the B.R. ("Battle Royale") Act, wherein teenagers are forced to fight each other to the death until only one is left standing.

If you don't play, try to escape, refuse to kill or stray into a "death zone," the collars explode. Each teenager is given food, water and a random item, and are set loose on a remote island.

It doesn't take long for them to fall prey to suicide, paranoia, bombs and one student's brilliant efforts to hack the system. As the teens slowly weed each other out, Shuya Nanahara and his girlfriend Noriko try to find a way out that doesn't involve death. But if they refuse to kill, then they must escape the fascist nightmare... which no one has done before.

"Battle Royale" (both the novel and the movie) was condemned in Japan for being so violent, and having a bunch of normal high schoolers killing each other off.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth your time or money
I wish I could remember why I bought this movie other than the fact I really wanted something to see I had not seen before. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Kenneth Harrigan
4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable
The book is one of my favs the movie not as great but still enjoyable
Published 10 days ago by naya
5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing and Bleak Look at Survival and Humanity
If you ever wondered what might have inspired the Hunger Games, look no further than Japanese cinema. Read more
Published 12 days ago by J. Wiles Parker
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This is one of my favourite movies. Highly recommend.
Published 15 days ago by Genoa R. Alexander
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
If you like Hunger Games you will enjoy this Japanese movie that preceded it.
Published 1 month ago by T. Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars and not being realistic when dying in this movie is not amazing...
Effects, tech, and not being realistic when dying in this movie is not amazing however I still like the unique story. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Fyona Amor
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Similar to Hunger Games
Published 1 month ago by TammyB
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Find another movie like it. Kitano-san is the best!
Published 1 month ago by Allen C.
5.0 out of 5 stars Craziness in two words. Battle Royale.
Setting aside the comparison between the Hunger Games and this, this movie is insane. A foreign classic.
Published 1 month ago by justin
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Entertaining and interesting.
Published 1 month ago by corinnemart
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