Battle Royale

Could you kill your best friend?

The Japanese have long been renowned for producing some of the most violent, messed up films in existence. Once again, they strive to push the boundaries with Battle Royale.

The premise is this: Japanese children have recently become completely out of control. The government passed the Millenium Educational Reform Act (otherwise known as the B.R act), which makes it legal for a class of schoolchildren selected by lottery to be kidnapped and taken to an island in the middle of the sea. They are to compete in a no holds barred, one-on-one fight to the death, until there's one man standing. Each competitor is fitted with a necklace that will explode should they refuse to co-operate. If more than one man is standing by the end, everyone will be killed. They are each given a set of supplies, and are all given a different weapon (ranging from high-powered rifles to dustbin lids).

Whilst it is easy to see why this film caused such uproar amongst the Daily Mail-reading right, it is also fascinating to watch as they form and break alliances, betray each other, and ultimately attack the system that's imprisoned them. Coupled with a tar-pit black sense of humour and the presence of the ever wonderful Takeshi Kitano (one of the most revered actors in Japan), this film is of course deeply disturbing and shocking but also disturbingly engrossing. You'll never see anything else like it...

Rotten Tomatoes Score:



Action, Sci-Fi, Sport, Thriller


Kenta Fukasaku, Koshun Takami


Kinji Fukasaku


Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda, Taro Yamamoto, Masanobu Ando, Kou Shibasaki, Chiaki Kuriyama, Takeshi Kitano


Masamichi Amano


114 minutes








These pages copyright Union Films, 2001-2022. All views expressed in these pages are those of Union Films, and are not necessarily those of the University Of Southampton, or the Students' Union. All logos and trademarks are property of their respective organisations.