(pictured borrowed from salon.com)
I wildly enjoyed watching the new “Hunger Games” movie. Suspenseful, gripping, and fast moving, the movie had us on the edge of our seat from the beginning. But I couldn’t help and feel like I had seen this movie before. Why did it feel so familiar?
Oh… that’s right… Arnold Schwartzenager starred this movie in 1987, but then it was called “Running Man.” Albeit some differences in the characters, setting, and background, the premise was the same; a game show in which unwilling participants are pitted against each other in a battle to the death. There can only be one winner, one survivor.
Now, I should pause here and acknowledge that this is not a movie review. My critique isn’t based on which main character I prefer, although Katniss, played by Jennifer Lawrence, is one ass-kicking, hunting heroine who I might go as far as to say is my favorite action heroine of all time.
Nor is my critique based on the similarity of both movies including the eccentrically entertaining macabre host, the freakishly indifferent audience that could actually stand to watch a game show about killing off opponents, or the love interest that is bound to develop. No, my critique is that in 1987 “Running Man” was an R rated adult movie. Kids my age weren’t buying tickets and popcorn to watch this and even if we were, we weren’t getting in. But in 2012, “Hunger Games” isn’t just shooting (pun intended) for teenager viewers; it was made for them with a PG-13 rating. With the latest discussion being whether or not parents should be strict about this rating and not let their even younger kids see it.
“Hunger Games” is about young kids from different “Sections” who are randomly chosen to battle and survive against each other. Based on the book, “Hunger Games,” which we all know is always more descriptive (I can’t even imagine how violent the book was based on what I saw in the movie!), is a young adult novel!
Now I’m not meaning to sound old and I honestly think I might have thought this way as a teenager, although I still might have seen the movie, but does anyone else find it strange that a movie of such violence and adult ideas is marketed to teens? It’s not that I think that kids are dumb enough to see the movie and create their own “Hunger Games,” although I have seen many a “Law & Order” based on this kind of story; but I don’t know, call me crazy, I just think that a movie about killing a small child with an arrow to the chest might be too much for a 13-year-old.
I am not trying to start a movement, a revolution, a vehicle for change. I am not pointing my finger at the author of the book or the movie’s producers or the parents that let their kids watch it. I, personally, thought the movie was 142 minutes of fun… but I’m also 32 and don’t need my mom’s permission to get a piercing, buy alcohol or watch a movie. I am simply stating my opinion and pointing out the fact that 25 years ago a movie of this violent nature would have been... was rated R. I could only imagine then what the next 25 years holds for our society.
Will we eventually turn into those indifferent crowds watching a game show about killing people off instead of voting people off?