Leaving Me Starved

The only good thing that came out of last week’s release of “The Hunger Games” was the dope-ass beard that one forgettable character pulled off throughout the whole thing.

Well, that and the fact that it was so undeniably bad that I was unable to contain the rage bursting out of me as I left the theater.

So first off, I would like to thank Gary Ross for producing an utterly disappointing and astoundingly horrible movie.

Secondly, I need to discuss how much of a waste of potential this movie was. Not only did “The Hunger Games” drunkenly stumble over the ripe and intellectually stimulating (not to mention horrifying) theme of kids being forced to kill one another, it produced it in a less impactful way than a movie that preceded it by over a decade — “Battle Royale.”

The movie took an eternity to get to any semblance of an actual point, but when it finally reached the action, it fumbled it. The shaking camera work made “Cloverfield” look like it was filmed on a tripod, and the lack of action in battle sequences reminded me more of a cartoon rather than a movie meant to provoke and stimulate.

The film’s PG-13 rating, which was obviously a way to invite the plentiful audience of pre-teens who have the ability to drain their parents’ wallets as they see it five times in a row, seriously hindered the film’s ability to reach the ultimate point of the film — the brutality a post-apocalyptic society has forced upon their public. That very poignant message is lost beneath a layer of shaky, stylized filth.

Simply, the movie utterly failed to gain any emotion from me for any of the characters. Katniss and Peeta’s relationship was bone dry, Elizabeth Banks had a role that could have been played by a tree stump and Woody Harrelson was less believable than a drunken member of the bar of broken heroes. Hell, if I was Harrelson, I would have been inebriated too. Being in this movie could have made anyone a heavy drinker.

Jennifer Lawrence was actually pretty impressive, carrying literally all of the acting weight in the entire film. Josh Hutcherson had a perpetually open mouth that seemingly allowed him to think of easier ways to say his pitiful attempts at lines. But Lawrence had command over her role, even if it wasn’t written with an ounce of talent. The movie is lucky to have such a gifted performer willing to stick her neck out for a franchise.

For a movie that had such hype and so many reviews pointing toward a solid flick, I was in shock at how horrid I felt leaving the theater. Not since wasting money on “Predators” have I felt more insulted for having given the movie theater my credit card information.

If you’re looking for a film that has the same message as “The Hunger Games” but actually puts it into context that isn’t subdued for American audiences, do yourself a favor and watch “Battle Royale.” Not only will it cleanse your pallet after seeing this shit storm, but you’ll be watching a film worth cinematic merit.