In the near future, Japanese society is beginning to crumble. As a way of teaching a lesson to their disrespectful youth, the authorities pass the 'BR law’ – each year, a high school class is selected by lottery to be taken to an island where they will participate in a 'Battle Royale'. Each student is allotted a weapon and fitted with an electronic collar that will explode if he or she tries to escape. Over the following three days they are forced to fight to the death, until only one is left standing.

Could you kill your best friend?

The late Kinji Fukasaku's controversial Battle Royale, inspired by Koshun Takami's novel, is set in the near future, a time when unemployment and increasing juvenile delinquency have led to a crisis. Following a government decree, the concept of the 'battle royale' is introduced. Teenage schoolchildren are transported to an island, outfitted with explosive collars that can be triggered from a distance, and given three days to eliminate each other, with the sole survivor given his or her freedom.

At first, the black comedy inherent in this bizarre film is grimly amusing, especially with Beat Takeshi playing Kitano, a chillingly cold-blooded cop. But after a while the endless slaughter numbs the mind and, ultimately, this is a trashy film which doesn't live up to the promise of an updated Lord of the Flies.

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1 hour 54 min