Hunger Games 2: Big Government Catching Fire

Sci-fi Dystopia sequel about a world tyrannized by government control of the masses. Same basic story as the first one, only this time, Katniss, who won the gladiatorial Hunger Games in the first movie must now enter a new Hunger Games for all the winning tributes of previous Hunger Games.

Pretty simple and straightforward and not a bad idea. Except that the first half of the movie was pretty boring watching Katniss dealing with the politics of being handled by the government marketing for their own nefarious purposes as she tries to defy it in subtle ways and maintain her usefulness to the state to keep herself alive. The government is using her to promote what she hates and she is trying to protect her loved ones, including her boyfriend from being punished by the state. Lots of discussions and maneuverings about the effects of how they spin and image her.

Whatever, just get to the games!

My problem with the first movie was that it made teens killing teens bloodless and like a videogame which cheapened the moral point and actually promoted a dehumanizing violence. They should have shown how brutal it was so that it would be repulsive and make a moral point.

This time, they try to make the violence more real and less television, BUT less personal or human and more about man against nature or forest traps. So much of their time is spent avoiding a poisonous mist and baboons and other “traps” rather than killing the others. I think this also cheapens the serious moral component of the story, and makes it like a ramped up Survivor TV show. But it is also less interesting because the conflict is less human.

But the revolution is brewing for movie #3.

There was a cool moment of grace in the movie when Katniss speaks of Peta (I can’t remember for sure who) saving her in the past and realizing that “He could have killed me, but instead he showed me mercy. That’s a debt I couldn’t pay.” Yes, that is Grace. And that is the only way out of a system of justice or injustice.

But the biggest thing that stood out to me was how eerily familiar the statist tyranny was. The world where big government controls everyone’s lives and is incestuous with rich liberal privilege and big business and big media looked scarily like the current Obama administration that has been taking America down the path of Big Government control and statism with the support of Big Media and Big Entertainment. And that’s the purpose of sci-fi futuristic movies: to show us where we will end up if we continue down the course we are going.

Make no mistake, the enemy in this movie is Big Government. The wealth that surrounds it is not free market wealth, but the kind of crony privileged class that grows up and surrounds political regimes of power, like Hollywood and Big Business in the hands of the Big State (you know, like, ahem, right now). They buy the privilege and use it to crush true free competition and control the information for the masses. The bizarre media elite of the Capitol in Hunger Games looks like only slightly exaggerated versions of the carnival like celebrity world of our own Hollywood.

And all this statism is done in the name of taking care of the people who aren’t as good at taking care of themselves. The people don’t know better, so the government must give them what’s good for them. And in so doing create an even bigger disparity between the rich and the poor as only those who are hooked into government can grow fat from the teat – and everyone else becomes poor. Sound familiar?

Simply put, it’s fascism.