Movie Review: THE HUNGER GAMES (2012) – AKA Girl Archer Kicking Butt
There’s been a lot of hype about this movie, so I decided to take some time and view it after it’s died down a little. And I must say, that HUNGER GAMES was a pretty original and unique concept that was pretty enjoyable to watch.
3 Out Of 5 Stars
HUNGER GAMES revolves around a fictional world of 13 colonies of America, ravaged by a war that had 1 clear winner. The rest of the 12 Colonies are subjugated by this winner, and kept in check with an annual tournament, meant to destroy their morale, and any hope of future defiance.
This tournament requires 1 boy and 1 girl of a certain age group from each Colony, picked at random, to serve in a ‘fight to the death’ style survival contest. The winner is given riches beyond belief, which, considering the ravaged and desolate state of affairs of the Colonies is something to be inspired by. Here’s the kicker though…. The entire ‘tournament’ is televised, with all the pomp and circumstance of the Olympics. But to the death. So the losers die. You with me so far?
That’s right! HUNGER GAMES is a movie where kids are pitted against each other, representing their Colonies, and must kill each other to survive, as the world watches and cheers on their favorite players. Fucked up? You bet!
The Hunger Games are a way for the winning Colony, to keep the rest under their thumbs, remind them of their defeat, and punish them for rebelling against them in the first place. These other Colonies are poor and look a lot like wastelands. And during these conditions, 2 of their young children are snatched up to participate in a ‘game’, where odds are that they will die.
The story follows one such candidate as we experience the world through her eyes. Jennifer Lawrence, better known as Mystique from X-MEN: FIRST CLASS, is amazing in this movie, which puts one at odds with their most basic of human emotions.
Lawrence does a great job of emoting the internal conflict one must feel at being pitted against their fellow man, and then being paraded around and objectified for the masses that take pleasure in this killing game. HUNGER GAMES shows us this world where the candidates of each Colonies are clothed, groomed, trained and featured in the Media hoopla that precedes such an event. Imagine The Olympics, where the games involve killing the competition. I know I already made this point… I’m driving it home for dramatic impact!
HUNGER GAMES is Lawrence’s film entirely. She has to struggle with her own sense of morality, and having to play the ‘game’ in order to survive. Her ability to ‘wow the sponsors’ correlates with the help she’ll get in the game, in order to survive.
Another known face in this is Josh Hutcherson, as the fellow colony member of Lawrence’s character. He’s adequate in this film, but his portrayal and lack of any particular character development is further evident that this is Lawrence’s film.
HUNGER GAMES features very cool visuals of the futuristic winning Colony, complete with their weird clothes and eccentric styles. Those scenes are all embellished visually to be completely removed from what we know, as to further alienate us from them. Whereas the actual Games, feature lush greenery and breathtaking scenery.
The action is far and few in between. One aspect of HUNGER GAMES that could be improved is the pacing and length. It’s not a slow movie by any means, however it’s long, and unnecessarily so. The film could’ve been told in, at least 15 minutes less time than it was, causing some instances to drag unnecessarily.
Overall HUNGER GAMES was a unique and original story, (based on a book, or so I hear) with amazing performances by all. Woody Harrelson is featured as mentor to the lead characters, and does his job adequately. Elizabeth Banks as an annoying and painted whor—I mean attaché, is bang on. The stand out performance in HUNGER GAMES however, like I keep mentioning, has to be Jennifer Lawrence.
Definitely worth a watch.