A sequel to the cult classic movie Battle Royale, Battle Royale II (or BR 2) attempts to capture the old magic of the first movie with mixed results. The first Battle Royale can best be summarized as “The Hunger Games” with less kissing and drama. BR 2 starts out much the same way as its predecessor. A class of high school kids are brought on a bus to an undisclosed location and are told they are going to have to fight and kill if they want to survive. This time there is a twist however, instead of going on a killing spree against one another they instead have to attack a fortress built on an island by the first movies winner, who has since become a terrorist.
This segues right into the only good collection of scenes that the film has to offer. The gaggle of kids storm the beach Normandy style and immediately begin to get murdered by a storm of bullets. The following scenes give you exactly what you hope for when it comes to a movie like this, over the top violence and ridiculous scenes that encourage you to not take the movie seriously. It almost perfectly captures the tone of the first film and set my hopes high for what was to come.
But oh when it turned. The film continues on like this for maybe twenty to forty minutes at which point they are captured by the person they came to kill and his band of terrorist. With their capture comes the death knell of fun. The rest of the film, a solid hour and half that drags on for long enough that you could swear it was three hours, is full of “dramatic” scenes of someone who you have no emotional connection to getting shot followed by one of the few main characters shouting their name a few times before they just move on. I honestly didn’t even realize this was happening over and over again at first until around the fifth time it happened and that was far from the last time.
How and why, how and why are questions that continued to come to me as every scene slowly trudged its way into the next.
“Oh that girl that signed up for the battle royale just to kill the head terrorist is now fighting on his side, why?”.
“How were we supposed to know that those two were related to one another? Why am I supposed to care and why are they even telling me?”
“Why is the teacher who is supposed to be the bad guy all of a sudden a good guy?”
It’s a non stop cavalcade of insane situations that baffle the mind, and all of this just brings up the biggest question of all. “Why are they trying to add plot to this film, why is it not just about kids fighting to the death?!”. I watched the first Battle Royale awhile ago (Movie #180 6.5/10) and thought it was a fun movie that made sure you didn’t take it very seriously so that the logical inconsistencies could be easily ignored. Battle Royale took this easy to replicate formula and just ruined it by trying to make it serious. Sapping the inherently ludicrous tone from the first movie only manages to pull back the curtain on every equally inherent flaw, all while adding more flaws by trying to remove that tone.
In fucking with a very simple idea Battle Royale 2 ends up becoming a pile of hot garbage. Avoid this movie unless you hate your free time 1.5/10