Battle Royale II
Three-Disc Limited Edition Tin

Starring: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Ai Maeda, Shugo Oshinari and Ayana Sakai
Tartan Asia Extreme
RRP: 29.99
TVD 3573
Certificate: 18
Available 22 May 2006

It's been three years since Battle Royale's survivors, Nanahara and Noriko, escaped from the island and the world descended into an age of terrorism. The Wild Seven, led by Nanahara, is an anti-state organisation that has declared war on the adults who force teenagers to kill each other under the murderous BR act. Fearful and desperate, the government has now passed a Millennium Anti-Terror Act, better knows as BRII. On their way to a skiing vacation, a coach load of Junior High School children are abducted by the military and forced to put on uniforms with lethal explosive necklaces. They are given 72 hours to hunt down and kill Nanhara and The Wild Seven, or they will face certain death at the hands of the authorities...

Battle Royale II: Revenge is simply a reissuing of Battle Royale II: Requiem but with two additional discs - one of which contains an extended version of the film, and the other includes a collection of extras.

For review purposes we were only sent the extended movie version and the extras disc. It's been so long since I've seen the original DVD release of Battle Royale II: Requiem, that in all honesty I couldn't really tell you which scenes have been extended. But, I don't think that's really necessary as fans of the movie are going to want to buy this and see what the differences are for themselves.

Rewatching this movie I realised what a work of art the majority of it is. The opening sequence, where the kids are drugged and led into the military base, is one of the most beautiful scenes I've seen in modern cinema. Every shot is like a carefully lit photograph... and the music will send shivers down your spine.

I don't remember thinking that the original movie dragged on a bit, but there were certainly times in the extended version when I was looking at my watch and thinking that a few cuts with the editor's scissors would have been welcome. The last third of the movie really labours the point to the extent that you start to wish everything would move along a bit quicker.

I loved the anti-American message. The skyscrapers collapsing was obviously a reference to 11 September - and the list of countries that America has bombed in recent history will make your jaw drop.

The extras are quite impressive - even if a lot of them just go over the same ground. These are split into four categories (Music, Behind the Scenes, Interviews and Trailers). The acting workshops and rehearsals segments were interesting - showing the director trying to get the young actors to believe in what they were doing. The Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra Music Performance (12 mins featurette) was also entertaining as we get to see the composer, Masamichi Amano, conducting several segments of his musical score.

If you already own Battle Royale II: Requiem, then I can't honestly recommend you spend £30 on this collection. And to be honest if you are thinking of buying this I would seriously suggest buying the original release. Having said that, it is great that Tartan are offering fans so many extras - it's just a shame they weren't included in the original DVD release.

Pete Boomer

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