Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Review: Battle Royale

My review of The Hunger Games drew comments from both Hang and my brother about its similarity in plot to Battle Royale, a Japanese movie from 2000. My understanding is that works in the television industry, and so might well have had exposure to Battle Royale since it was such a well-known movie. But there are significant differences between The Hunger Games and Battle Royale:
  • Battle Royale's backstory and plot is pretty unbelievable. The title sequence doesn't even provide any attempt to rationalize what the "game" was about.
  • Battle Royale had no elements of a reality-TV show whatsoever. The opening sequence hints at it, but nowhere in the movie is there even mention of an audience, and there is not even the hint that audience participation could affect the outcome.
  • The game setup is extremely unfair. I don't see any reason why the first guy with a ranged weapon wouldn't immediately camp out and snipe everyone else.
  • The reactions were extremely unrealistic. At one point a bunch of girls are camped out together but they suddenly turn against each other. The lone survivor commits suicide.
  • The one group that was smart enough to try to meta-game the situation and get everyone off the island alive was ignominiously killed off without even being allowed to execute their plan. So all that set up was wasted?!!
The movie wasn't a complete waste of time, but the Hunger Games is definitely a far better plot and character study than this movie.

Not recommended.
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