Battle Royale ★★★

It's kind of dumb but it's also fun.If there was a way to summarise a movie as huge in scope in terms of character and setting as Battle Royale,then those eight words would capture the essence of this movie the best.Compared to The Hunger Games,Battle Royale ditches the serious tone and constant explanatory dialogue that plagues its American counterpoint in favour of a more absurd,action driven and in a strange way,realistic tone.Before going into this movie I was skeptical about how this movie would be able to kill off the large number of classmates without the deaths feeling predictable,too much or simply unnecessary but for the most part the movie does a good job in making a majority of the deaths in this movie feel worthwhile and unique.The directing helps elevate numerous fight scenes such as the dramatic and beautifully staged battle between Shogo and Kazuo and the sudden,gory and gun-filled brawl between Satomi and Yukie that ends up killing pretty much everyone at the lighthouse.However,battle royale isn't just filled with non stop,9th grade action as their are actually quite a few heartbreaking scenes such as the one where Takako lays her head on Hiroki's shoulder before passing away in what has to be by fair the most peaceful death in the whole movie (even though she still did ultimately end up dying by gun wounds).Even though for a majority of the movie I was pretty entertained there were still a few nagging issues that held me from falling head over heels for this movie.For starters,their are a shitload of plot holes in this movie that even though I understand why this movie didn't address them since this obviously isn't the type of plot idea that your supposed to take completely seriously and it could have added a possible amount of maybe 10-15 minutes of runtime to an already long runtime of 2 hours,it still kind of took me out of the full emersion of the movie since I was constantly asking myself questions such as:How is forcing a bunch of teenagers to kill each other going to make other teenagers respect their elders more? If the teenagers involved in this battle royale didn't know what it was before they were told,then surely the reason for the battle royale itself is pointless since the teenagers aren't even aware of what the battle royale is and why did teacher go on the fake school trip if there was no need for him to be there,and so on.Furthermore,the movies failed attempt at trying to make us have a some sort of connection with Kitano just feels completely unnecessary and confusing(was I the only one that didn't understand why he had a particular soft spot for Noriko?),and his death at the hands of Shuya actually felt earned and dramatic until the movie for no comprehensible reason decides to allow him 30 more seconds of life to give some sort of cringry one liner before he passes away on a couch.Also,even though the movie does do a good job at making the main character feel realistic and they do provide a reasonable backstory for him,for whatever reason he just didn't really leave that much of a impression on me.This movie has its downsides but to be fair a lot of them has to do with the expectations you have for this movie going into it,and even though there were still issues that lessened my overall impression of this film,I'd still recommend it to people as a absurd,gory,and creative movie about a bunch of 9th graders killing each other.