Three years after the events in "Battle Royale," Shuya Nanahara is a well-known terrorist bent on bringing down the government. In response, they order the creation of the "Battle Royale 2" program, and send a class of junior-high students to catch and kill him.
Directed by: Kenta Fukasaku
, Kinji Fukasaku
. Starring: Tatsuya Fujiwara
, Ai Maeda
, Shûgo Oshinari
, Ayana Sakai
, Haruka Suenaga
, Yûma Ishigaki
, Miyuki Kanbe
, Masaya Kikawada
, Yôko Maki
, Yuki Ito
, Natsuki Katô
, Aki Maeda
, Riki Takeuchi
. Music by: Masamichi Amano
Although it may be one of those overly used phrases to describe a sequel; it is unfortunately all the much required to describe Battle Royale 2: Revenge; a sequel to the great Battle Royale and this is due to a number of things.
I was a big fan of the first film. I found it violent yet touching when required, eerie and unpredictable but at the same time drawing you into thinking it may end up happily ever after which it threatens to do but then quickly changes -' there can be no denying that it was a very good film but the second one falls short. First of all, Battle Royale's sequel doesn't really break any new ground. Its concept and ideas behind the concepts remain the same: group of delinquents get rounded up and are forced to play life or death. Twinned with this, certain conventions have remained the same such as the playing of classical music as the days deaths are read out and the 'drugged on the coach' scene.
What was also annoying is that the whole rounding up of the kids in the wire cage and informing them of what it is they're going to do seemed to drag on and on -' I know they don't know what's going on but we do and even when we didn't in the first one; it was all put across thanks to a self explanatory video but in 'Revenge', everyone has to shout, fight and kick up a bit of a fuss all in utter vain. One tiny, minute change is the new twist the collar tags are given: if one person dies, that persons team mate in the opposite sex is also killed.
The film also tries to go down new paths and explore new territory when it puts an interesting spin on the survivors from the first film. The two that got away before are the two that must be killed now meaning the antagonists have a reason to be cheered for, something no doubt some people did when witnessing the sheer pathetic-ness in which our new batch of kids try to fulfil their mission. Who are you going to root for: survivors from the first film or new cannon fodder kids on the block? After the setting up and introduction of these new recruits is finally over, they get their chance at field operations and we get the chance to see what they're made of which is, in truth, nothing much although the same can be said for how the film was made. The D-Day-like landings were very well shot and choreographed but it's nothing we haven't seen before in Saving Private Ryan and I do in all honesty find it a little confusing as well as disturbing that a Japanese filmmaker would 'borrow' something from the second world war that, ultimately, helped defeat the axis powers. I understand that Japan had nothing to do with D-Day but please do remember that Japan were an Axis power during the conflict in question.
Not only this but the way in which some of the characters give away their lives on the battle field was very odd. I know I've never been in a fire fight but surely you don't panic, get up and run back the other way into opposing gun fire once you've done the hard part of dodging the bullets and finding cover. Not only this but when the film wants to pull off an impossible stunt, it will and when it wants to throw in some 'filla' consisting of brainless action, it will with no regrets. This was pretty sub-standard and made the film feel more like a brainless actionadventure that belonged in the war genre rather than a survival film which is what the first was. The film is very over the top, very overly dramatic and extremely chaotic with Japanese language screaming from the characters mouths as they shoot and duck and weave and make the same mistakes over and over just so that we can get a glimpse of another death.
Albeit muddled, melodramatic and really just a failed epic; Battle Royale II can't really have any excuses as it doesn't boast anything different to its predecessor and when it does attempt to cover new ground, it merely capitulates.
Review by johnnyboyz from the Internet Movie Database.