OK, now for the main film I saw last night. The Hunger Games is probably the most anticipated film of the spring and I went to go see it at a midnight screening.
The film takes place sometime in the future, where the land is split up into twelve districts and ruled by a somewhat totalitarian government. After a failed uprising many years prior, each district is required to provide a girl and boy between the ages of 12 and 18 to fight to the death in an event called “The Hunger Games.”
I will say one thing: Even after seeing the entire film, which is about 2 hours and 22 minutes long, I am still confused as to why this event is called “The Hunger Games.” I did catch something about how taking food from the government increases your chance of being drawn, but its still an odd title for a battle to the death.
Before I move deeper into The Hunger Games, I will get the inevitable comparison to the Japanese film Battle Royale out of the way. I will say that even though both films has a similar “teens fighting to the death” plot structure, they are ultimately two entirely different stories. In fact, the whole “fight to the death” plot is nothing new and can also include films, such as the Arnold Schwarzenegger-starring The Running Man and The Condemned with Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Going back to The Hunger Games, the film is pretty much split into two halves. The first half is the preparations for The Hunger Games, while the second half features the game itself. Even though the film has a very violent premise, most of the more extreme violence is kept off-screen (though there’s still a few bloody bits in the film).
Of the 24 participants in The Hunger Games, I think only like three or four had any real importance and the bulk are just sacrificial pawns. The plot is centred nearly entirely around the character of Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence, who does a pretty good job at playing someone determined to survive at any cost. The other central “tributes” include Josh Hutcherson as fellow district 12 tribute Peeta, Alexander Ludwig as main rival Cato, and Amandla Stenberg as a young tribute named Rue, who befriends Katniss. The rest of the cast is rounded out by the like of Stanley Tucci, Wes Bentley, Donald Sutherland, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, and Woody Harrelson.
Overall I thought The Hunger Games was pretty decent film. I might think that it was slightly over-hyped, but I still ended up enjoying myself.