This movie was, like, the epitome of disappointment. Me and the first Battle Royale film are best buds. I seriously love that movie and the book, and while I was excited to see the sequel, Battle Royale 2: Requiem, I couldn't really imagine a rehash of the previous film's plot. But the two movies are actually quite different - and not in a good way.
Battlefield Plot: Shuya Nanahara, one of the survivors from the first film, has started a terrorist group against the adults in charge of the Battle Royale program. At the same time, another group of students has been chosen for the same program, but with a different objective. They are dropped off on the island where Nanahara's group, the Wild Seven, have their hideout and are told that they have three days to kill Nanahara or they will all be killed by the exploding collars around their necks.
The kids are perhaps not as innocent as the group in the first movie. They are described as being the most delinquent, put together in the same class for gosh knows what reason. And yet when they are forced into this war-like situation, the facades break down and they are just as terrified as anybody else would be. This is presented to the audience in a scene similar to that of BRI, when the students are locked in a huge cage and are told the rules of the game by their nutso, psychotic teacher. They freak out. But most reluctantly agree to play the game, mostly because they have no other choice - they could either die right there or maybe have the chance to survive later.
With this is in mind, I was expecting a more emotional film with the students being torn between whether to choose survival or to kill someone who is fighting the people who put them in this situation to begin with. There's also another layer of conflicted feelings with one of the BR students, Siori Kitano, because she is the daughter of the teacher from BRI, whom Nanahara killed. Kitano also drew that picture of Noriko, the other survivor and Nanahara's love interest, which made Siori jealous and which would make you think that she'd be all gung ho about killing Nanahara.
Another element the filmmakers bring in to get through the unimportant characters more quickly is that their explosive collars are linked to each other. Each student has a "partner" of sorts, and if one of them dies, or strays too far from the other, then the partner dies too. A two-for-one deal, if you will. And while there is some kind of message to be learned from the few surviving members of this film, it is not as interesting as the missed emotional opportunities and gets almost completely lost in the mayhem of the violence.
People overact, almost everyone who dies has to make some kind of retarded final statement, and the charm, black humor, and emotion that made BRI so great is utterly and completely gone. There is no great showdown between Siori and Nanahara like we are pretty much promised. People die bloody and that's all well and good but I was really looking for more substance and less showy theatrics. Thumbs down. Watch BRI and forget about this one.