Movie of the Year: 2002
The Taste Buds go to a remote island to kill each other, while discussing Battle Royale!
Before Squid Game, before Ready or Not, before Avengers Arena, before the Purge series, before the Hunger Games, there was Battle Royale. The final film directed by Kinji Fukasaku, with a screenplay written by his son, Kenta Fukasaku, Battle Royale follows a 9th grade class on a field trip gone awry. In the near future, the Japanese government has passed the “BR” act out of fear of wayward youths. So they regularly send entire classes out to kill each other on a prepared battlefield. We get to know 40 some students, including, Shuya, a boy haunted by his father’s suicide; Kuninobu, Shuyo’s best friend who maybe stabbed a teacher once and is in love with Noriko, who MIGHT be in love with Shuya–because even though they’re fighting for their lives, the kids still got crushes! Some of the kids embrace the game, some kill themselves rather than take out a classmate, some get slowly dragged into the proceedings but they’re all at the whims oaf the army and their vengeful former teacher.
The Taste Buds explore the legacy of Battle Royale and what makes it stand out from the imitators, what the film is saying about childhood vs adulthood, and the purpose of the transfer students! Plus the Rushmore of 2002 Fashion, a draft of killer children, and so much more!
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