Battle Royale 2: Requiem Review

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Three years after passing the BR Act, the Japanese government assembles another group of school kids, once again forcing them to fight to the death on an isolated island.


Battle Royale was a clever social satire about the increase of juvenile delinquency in Japan and the Government's inability to deal with it. That it outraged members of the Japanese Parliament while becoming the country's number one hit of 2000 guaranteed a sequel.

Battle Royale II broadens the original's remit to address global terrorism and, similarly, the governments of the world's collective inability to deal with that. Unfortunately, the sequel lacks the wit of its predecessor. Where the first film was knowingly outrageous, the follow-up is merely trite. The subtlety of science fiction satire goes right out the window with the opening image of the destruction of a capital city (for which the survivors of the first game of death stand accused) looking very much like 9/11, as well as not-so-veiled references to "that country" (America) and a closing scene with the kids having fled to the Middle East (Afghanistan).

The realigning of the rebellious teens and dictatorial adult society of the first film with the international terrorism and hawkish superpowers of the second works like a round peg being hammered into a square hole. And that's a real shame, as filmmaker Kinji Fukasaku died while attempting to finish his sequel, which was completed by his son, Kenta.

Whereas the original benefited from subtlety the sequel bellows its satire through a loudhailer. Truly disappointing.