Battle Royale II: Requiem [バトル・ロワイアルＩＩ 【鎮魂歌】] (2003)
Starring Tatsuya Fujiwara, Ai Maeda, Shugo Oshinari, Ayana Sakai, Haruka Suenaga, Yuma Ishigaki, Miyuki Kanbe, Masaya Kikawada, Yoko Maki, Yuki Ito, Natsuki Kato
Directed by Kenta Fukasaku
Expectations: Not much at all. I don’t see how a sequel to Battle Royale can be anything more than a less satisfying retread.
[If you haven’t seen Battle Royale, this will spoil it. There’s no other way to do it, so just watch the original and then come back and read why you should never watch its sequel.]
If I want to see a particular movie, nothing can dissuade me from watching it. Even after watching Battle Royale, and realizing that there was no way in hell a sequel could recapture its magic, I still went into this movie optimistic. Even knowing the horrible critical and public reception this sequel received, I still pushed play hoping that it was all just a misunderstanding and that I’d be able to enjoy the sequel for what it is, even if it is something less than Battle Royale. I simply wasn’t ready for a movie this bad — just fundamentally bad — and I’d advise anyone who’s only seen Battle Royale to keep it that way.
Battle Royale II: Requiem is not based on a novel like the original, this one is a completely original story by Kinji Fukusaka’s son (and Battle Royale screenwriter), Kenta Fukusaka. I have to give him credit for trying something different and actively avoiding a simple rehash of what had already been done. But in going so off the rails in an effort to give the story weight and pathos (which a simple rehash would never achieve), Battle Royale II actually achieves less than it would have as that simple rehash. I actually wish Kenta Fukusaka didn’t know the meaning of the word “ambition” and had just gone back to the well to deliver another, straightforward Battle Royale event.