A stunningly original, if intensely graphic satire, Kinji Fukasaku's Battle Royale is based around the concept of 42 school children being taken to a remote Pacific island to engage in a very real death match. Set in a Japanese colony of the very near future, the action follows those youngsters as they are dispatched on the island where with three days worth of arms and food, they must fight to the death. The ultimate winner - and, of course, there can be only one - is then deemed fit to retake their place in Japanese society. In equal measures, violent and humourous, Battle Royale ignores the accepted parameters of the average action movie, and instead offers a savage critique of the pressures and motivations of young people in today's society. As you'd expect for a movie with killing as its central theme, there's a tremendous amount of bloodshed in Battle Royale but, believe it or not, it's thoughtfully handled by the director. See it.
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