By Brett Mullins
Original Title: Batoru Rowaiaru II: Chinkonka
Battle Royale II: Requiem is the 2003 sequel to the Japanese cult classic Battle Royale. This film was directed by Kenta Fukasaku, son of the first film’s director, Kinja Fukasaku. Kenta took over the role of director following the death of his father just one week into shooting the film.
This film begins three years following the events of the first, where Nanahara, the hero from the from the previous BR Program, has band together other BR survivors to form a terrorist organization, known as the ‘Wild Seven’. In the three years of its operation, this group has committed several attacks, in addition to declaring a war on all adults. To combat them, the government creates the BR II Program. While this appears to be much like the game from the first film, this time, the goal of the children is to murder Nanahara and topple the Wild Seven organization.
In the manner if its predecessor, Battle Royale II provides a headache of a plot that is actually slightly more logical than the first. The Wild Seven have created a stronghold on some island, and, instead of bombing it, the government decides to storm the island with fully armed teenagers in a scene analogous to the Saving Private Ryan landing scene. As the events unfold on the island, the Wild Seven begin not to look so much like the ‘bad guys’; the inner workings of the Japanese government are depicted as inefficient; and allusions were made to the United States, referencing ‘that country’, as the power pressuring Japan to attack the Wild Seven with full force.
While the film is a mediocre quality production, the only lasting quality of the film is its imagery. Within seconds, the audience is treated to an introduction to the Wild Seven with a shot of two identical towers collapsing in the middle of a large city, mirroring the attack on the World Trade Center. There are a few shots of Kitano, the instructor from the first film, which resonate within the audience (the scene with Kitano was the only scene shot by elder Kukasaku, which, ironically, was the scene with the most depth).
The film presents a clear message: subversion doesn’t always equate to evil or malicious behavior. The film presents a look through the perspective of the terrorist group, who, throughout the film, sacrifice themselves to save the lives of others. The film has honorable intent; however, it does not translate to the best film.