I watched Hunger Games last weekend and apparently am one of few that didn't like it. It's true that the set and costuming were good, some of the acting was good, and the special effects were good. Sometimes, that can help me get past other problems, but this time it didn't work.

Don't read this if you're the only person in the US who hasn't seen the movie.

One of the main reasons I didn't like it revolve around a single, simple problem. It was rated PG-13. This is obviously a financial decision, solidified by the fact that it made over $214 million in its opening weekend. From a business standpoint, high fives all around. From a moral standpoint, I have nothing good to say.

I can't complain about the fact that there are children killing each other. Obviously, that's not the heart of the story; it's a means to an end. What I can complain about is that, because it limited itself to a PG-13 rating, we are removed from the horror of children killing each other. It's not desensitizing, because that's not what desensitization is. Instead, it removes us; it makes us not realize what's really happening. I'm not complaining because it was too violent, but because it wasn't violent enough. Instead of making us squirm in our seats when a 14-year-old gets stabbed through the heart, the director cuts away to a familiar, shocked face and the sound of a cannon. In one of the scenes, a young girl gets killed by a spear. We don't see the spear hit her, we barely see her after she is wounded, and the shot of her dying is bland at best. It's supposed to be one of the most heart-rending scenes in the movie, and I didn't care a bit. Which is worse? Having to see it? Or having our hands held for the sake of a new Ferrari?

Right about now, someone is going to tell me that that's not the point. Well, what is the point? Revolution? Standing up to the man? If so, what a terrible example of a revolt. The protagonist tags along, doing what she's told, and then threatens suicide. Good work. Way to make a difference. You think she's trying to change her world? Watch it again. Actually try to pay attention this time, and especially remember her last line of the movie. "I guess we try to forget."

I haven't read the books. I'm not complaining about the books. I'm complaining about the movie that the books turned into. If you tell me the books are different and I should read them to get a better perspective on the movie, I'll smile and nod and ignore you, because that's not the point.
AuthorSheffield Leithart