THE HUNGER GAMES (2012)
Running Time: 142 mins. Rating: 3 1/2 Star/5 Stars
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Gary Ross
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Stanley Tucci, Wes Bentley, Willow Shields, Elizabeth Banks
Now that HARRY POTTER is over and TWILIGHT is reaching its finale, we need another new adult book series to console our adolescent hormones. THE HUNGER GAMES is just that refuge — definitely made to satisfy its dedicated readers and cause an explosion in book sales, this film will touch you in the same ways all these teen movies do (admit it, you know you like it). It’s also kind of the best of both worlds; I’m imagining a love story similar to TWILIGHT and an adventure story similar to HARRY POTTER. Am I close?
Set in an unfamiliar future where false lashes, frills and colored hair thrive it’s a little hard to imagine we’re very far from it. The metropolis Capitol holds an annual ‘Hunger Games’ where two kids are chosen at random to participate in a fight to the death. As the pink lady says, “may the odds be ever in your favor.” What really intrigues me about this idea is that survival isn’t just on brute strength or clever intellect, but rather surviving within a society. Sure, THE HUNGER GAMES touches on elements of poverty, inequality, riots, supreme rule and other corrupted power themes, but it doesn’t focus too heavily on anything to make much of an impact. I guess it’s all up to us in the audience to put the pieces together.
The entire process of the Hunger Games is truly exhilarating. It really is like tv, with all the kids dressed up in cookie-cutter characters based on the industry of their district to the public appearances and requests for sponsorship. Yet when all the glitz and glamor is over, we get a look behind the scenes of the games and it’s pretty clear the world has chosen the winner before she even gets there. We might as well call this “Jennifer Lawrence Went To Capitol And All She Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt.” Playing the courageous Katniss Everdeen who volunteers herself to save her sister, she expresses her determination to win and she almost breezes through too easily. There are some moments where we wonder how she’ll make it, but that doesn’t last too long.
I’m a little upset about the lack of screen time Liam Hemsworth gets here. I mean, we’re all rooting for the underdogs here, but we need some eye candy to keep us going. Although, Woody Harrelson plays one hell of a mentor as Haymitch, a drunken fool that knows how to put on a good show. Wes Bentley and Stanley Tucci didn’t do a great job hosting the Hunger Games, playing empty idiots that have feel way too uncomfortable about their facial hair. I don’t even want to get into this Peeta character played by Josh Hutcherson. Let’s just say Jennifer Lawrence looks like a goddess when paired next to these bimbos, but there could have been sexier clothes and raunchier action scenes (but of course, I’m not a fourteen year old girl). Besides that, you’re getting exactly what you’re asking for.
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