People said this film was the victim of bad direction. Bad pacing. Bizarre transitions. White washing to keep the gore from making it “not suitable for kids.” All those criticisms are probably true, but I didn’t really care. I didn’t come into this film with high expectations of any sort. I was prepared to see a Westernized version of Battle Royale (2000), and it was better than just that kind of rehash. Slightly better, and that was enough for me. It’s the kind of movie you watch with a box of cookies all by yourself, just because you don’t want to do anything intelligent. I mean, I’m glad that Jennifer Lawrence is an interesting celebrity, but this is still just a weird teen movie. Donald Sutherland doesn’t really make sense. Lenny Kravitz doesn’t really make sense. And I don’t understand why the movie gets all Fifth Element in the capital. But there it is. The girl knows how to hunt and THINGS HAPPEN and romantic tension. That’s modern movie magic in a nutshell, for you.

As a bonus, here’s the best response to the Hunger Games franchise that I’ve seen.