Plot Summary: In the future, the Japanese government captures a class of ninth-grade students and forces them to kill each other under the revolutionary “Battle Royale” act.
Director: Kinji Fukasaku
Writers: Koushun Takami (novel), Kenta Fukasaku (screenplay)
Stars: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda and Tarô Yamamoto
Serious Jest: (Don’t Bother) Even if I hadn’t seen The Hunger Games first, I would probably still have thought to myself that this movie had some potential, but did little more than hold my attention. In the end, watching ninth graders slaughter each other in various ways without a better reason for the legislation that forced them to do so is not an activity on which I prefer to spend my time…although it could work for a video game. Also, the strange infusion of various school crushes and flirting was awkwardly scattered throughout the film. Knowing that The Hunger Games is out there, and that William Golding‘s book Lord of the Flies has been sitting around for decades prior, this movie just seems like a weird exploitation of fetishes…or one that I may have enjoyed much more in high school. It will hold your attention, however, as the action is pretty consistent.