It’s the last day of term for Class B – the kind of teenagers Battle Royale was designed for – but teacher is about to drop a bombshell into their casual bullying and emo indifference.
A huge hit in Japan (and its Oscar hope), Tetsuya Nakashima’s film aspires to be a topical thriller about the country’s youth, but its bleakly ironic reversals play better as macabre Heathers-style black comedy.
Despite the intensity of the first-act monologue, Nakashima’s hypnotic, slo-mo style keeps tension and humour well short of the bad-taste extremity that Takashi Miike might have delivered.
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