We never run out of blood.
Teacher: “Life is a game, so fight for survival and find out if you’re worth it.”
Teacher: “It’s tough when friends die on you, but hang in there.”
The main protagonist: “This is crazy! How can you all kill each other so easily?!”
Slut girl: “B*!&%, murderer!”
Bad girl: “Why not kill? Everyone has their issues.”
Dying girl: “God, can I say one more thing? You look really cool, Hiroki.”
Hiroki, who has never noticed her noticing his coolness until now: “You too. You’re the coolest girl in the world.”
Possum guy, after being pelted by unlimited ammo guy: (read jubilantly at the top of your lungs so that the bad guy can hear you and return to finish his job) “I made it! What a sweet bulletproof vest!”
Rebel: “We’ll destroy this stupid system, and then we’ll all escape together.”
Disregarding these oversights and a couple plot holes, such as why the teacher would enter the warzone with an umbrella to scare away the bad girl and save the main female protagonist or why the teacher would call off his soldiers from checking the final bodies, thereby enabling them to infiltrate his compound and fatally shoot him, Battle Royale is a brilliantly written and thoughtfully composed movie. Most teen killing competition movie enthusiasts were disappointed when neither of the Hunger Games films opened right at the beginning of the games but instead killed well above an hour in the Capitol and District 12 providing nonessential backstory and character development that nobody asked for. Battle Royale averts this dilemma by throwing us almost immediately into the fray, giving us little time to know the characters who are about to get slaughtered or trip our brains up on any kind of sociopolitical commentary. From almost the very first frames, Battle Royale is all action and doesn’t worry about making us sympathize with the victims of a great governmental injustice, trusting the emotional story to do that work on its own. Rather than boring us up front with the characters’ diverse life stories, personalities, and beliefs, Fukasaku uses flashback sequences to establish his gladiators’ complex psyches: we have the transfer victor from a previous game who wants to get back at the evil gamemakers for killing his girlfriend (who appears to have tried to kill him, though the hectic editing makes this plot point unclear), the traumatized, fatherless girl who channels her seclusion and pain over childhood sexual abuse into violence against others, and various other figures we’ve never seen before.