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Three years after the events in "Battle Royale," Shuya Nanahara (Tatsuya Fujiwara)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. Written by
Jacquie Allen <email@example.com>
Towards the end of the credits a flag is shown, followed by black and white stills from the action sequences in the movie and then a black and white photo of the whole class that participated in the BR2 act, then another BW still of Nanahara and his comrades, and lastly a BW shot of director Kinji Fukasaku. See more »
'Battle Royale II' is an uneven, but worthy follow-up. It's one of those sequels that tries something different, but is generally hated due to high expectations and the reputation of the mammoth original.
Here, the two Fukasakus take the story in the exact direction it needs to go. The survival game setting has been ditched...this time, it's about all-out war between the children and the adults. Naturally, there's less intimate moments here and only a few characters are well-defined...but seeing the world of 'Battle Royale' explode in your face (literally) is completely involving.
The few good character moments we get here are nice and match up with the poetry of the original. Shuya Nanahara is a much more interesting and complex person this time. Shiori Kitano is one of the best characters in either film. And the over-the-top Riki Takeuchi almost steals the film.
There are flaws, though... The children feel less like individuals and more like a collective, so there's less emotional involvement this time out...but that is perhaps inevitable, given the war setting. Plus, the resolution to the battle seems a tad anti-climactic.
Problems aside, this is a film well worth watching. The story is more complex, the battles are blistering, and the performances are great. It may not match the greatness of the original, but it's certainly one of the better directions a sequel has taken.
Note: Fans should avoid the theatrical version "Requiem" and seek out the newly re-edited Director's Cut - "Revenge." It restores a lot of missing character development and thematic elements and is a much better film overall.
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