The opening to Battle Royale II starts off with a bang…literally (think Fight Club). The setting is a couple of years after the original film with the character Shuya now known as a terrorist determined to take out all adults. It seems the Japanese government has decided they had enough Shuya and his Wild Seven terrorist regime, so they send in their most fierce fighting force; a group of unsuspecting high school students (or were they jr. high, does it really matter?). Following the original, they are sent through an underground tunnel, wake up with neckbands on and are roughly escorted to their new “teacher” Sensei (Riki Takeuchi) for a little battle prep. Sadly the character of Sensei acts like character straight out of “Roadhouse”. Loud, obnoxious and plenty of stupid grins with an annoying laugh to match - apparently a natural reaction to 600 Trim-spa pills he’s shown consuming over the next 20 minutes. The students learn that in life, you can only be on a winning or losing team and that they must decide right now, which team they want to be on. The students are paired up and the majority of the team choices to be on the winning side, except for one student, who learns what it’s like to lose after a couple of bullets from Sensei. This sets off the neckband of the deceased student’s partner, who screams, runs around and then, you guessed it, dies of massive blood loss. New rule: your partner dies; you die in this new Battle Royale. So the stage is set, the students are told they must meet several goals to finish the game. They are sent to the island on high-speed rafts and this is where the bloodbath begins! The film takes on a Saving Private Ryan look, and we see the horrors of combat – this goes on for way too long. Sadly, by this point, I knew so little about the characters; I could have cared less about who lived and who died. Some students manage to pick up on the situation and are able to fight and provide support to the groups, other just don’t have the ability to perform under the conditions and often cause more harm than good. As the remaining students make their way up the massive hill, they find tripwires everywhere. At this point, the character of Tukuma takes up a gun and starts firing away to help the others, which would have been great, but he only has 2 facial expressions: pissed and bug-eyed, through the entire film. I personally the acting ability of Shugo Oshinari was pretty weak and took away from the film’s seriousness. As the battle continues, one of Shuya’s fellow terrorist notices that the army attacking them is wearing neckbands could they be students? What doesn’t help the kids is the fact that they all seem to have knowledge on field combat, weapons and battle strategy. Some shots in this film make these kids look like a SWAT team, I thought they only played rugby – they must have had ROTC activities as well. The students and the terrorists have a standoff, and more people die. Enter some homemade device (read: sticks with wires, possibly some plastic too) that creates electrical waves making the neckbands useless. This is where the film official stops. Beyond this point is utter crap, we learn that shy and quite (until she has a gun in her hand) Shiori has a connection to Takeshi Kitano, in which you will see a flashback over and over and over again. Shuya shows that he is much weaker than his Wild Seven statuses portray him as. The new character Takuma just sits and screams, using his two facial expressions to the best of his ability. Once the action starts up again, we are subjected to seeing the remaining deaths turned into a soap opera: Scene: Some shit has been blown up (probably by them damn Americans) leaving one of the students mortally wounded. Student Dying: “Chang, I…wanted to say…. one….last …thing…..” Student not dying: “ Sunsi, save you strength, we’re going to get out of here” Student Dying: “I always……loved…you” (turns her head, eyes close and dies) Student not dying: “But you’re my sister, Sunsi, Sunsi! NOOOOOOOO!” (Well, maybe if this was a Miike film) This happens on every single death for the remainder of the film. Great way to kill the pace of the film, it will have you screaming at the screen. We have a dramatic ending where the Japanese government has decided it’s time to end this Battle Royale for good, before America step in. What follows are more gunfights, CGI wounds and dramatic deathbed speeches for the next 15 minutes of the film. Then out of left field, we get hit with the return of Sensei, which makes no sense and adds nothing to the story. A final plan is made to help the survivors escape the island (who the fuck built this tunnel, that’s my question?), and a grand final shot of Shuya and new recruit Takuma going on a suicide mission against the attacking military. Who will win? Doesn’t matter because at this point, you’re on the losing team for watching this film till the end! This was reviewd from the Region 3 Universe Laser DVD (about $14.99 on eBay) Video is 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen - very bright, I had to lower the contrast on my tv, but this could of been the fault of my region free player (Sampo). Not bad, not great. The DTS audio track is kickass, works well with this type of action film. English subs are ok, a bit off at certian points, but hell, with a movie this bad, it doesn't really matter.