The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games ½

I can't afford to think like that.

It's difficult to critique without having seen the entire franchise, but The Hunger Games still feels incredibly confused to me. It's virtually a pornographic disempowerment fantasy a la Twilight, where every man either likes Katniss or wants to kill her, but then none of them are Edward Cullen-levels of beautiful and want to do both. It's ostensibly about how people who disregard the sanctity of life are intrinsically evil, but then neglects to humanize the vast majority of its cast so one might feel any semblance of void when they die. It's a film about the supposed evils of hypermedia deathmatches, but one wherein we are meant to favor the lives of certain characters and take perverse pleasure in the demise of others.

This confusion at the heart of The Hunger Games expresses as a kind of schizophrenic synthesis between the borderline nymphomania of Twilight and the almost complete asexuality of MCU, and occurs because the film itself kind of wants to be for everyone, or at least not completely bore or enrage the central demographic's boyfriends; but then who wouldn't be bored by this? Katniss and Peeta put on kissy faces for everyone at home, but the metameta conceit only serves to make it the least hot thing ever, when in this case it should do the opposite. It's for this same reason that I'd often prefer to listen to Backstreet Boys or Britney Spears than Radiohead or The Smiths. When you pretend to be for everyone, or even a certain class of intelligence, for me you've already betrayed your foremost responsibility as an artist.

Then, if The Hunger Games fixed or at least recognized all these internal conflicts and were approximately one billion times more honest and intelligent, it would be Danganronpa or Battle Royale, instead of... whatever it is. I don't know. Maybe I just secretly hate teenage girls too.

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