Saturday, February 2, 2013
The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012) Review
In...some kind of future (doesn't really specify), the world is split up into 12 districts who, every year, have to nominate one boy and one girl in order to take part in The Hunger Games, which is basically a fight to the death with the other districts. Catniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) are picked to represent district 12 and are sent to a place called Capitol in order to compete in the Hunger Games. They meet their mentor, Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) and proceed into the arena.
Normally I tear apart a film that 'borrows' a plot from another film like Avatar did but the idea around The Hunger Games was only really used before with Battle Royale and, let's be honest, no-one remembers that film so I let The Hunger Games off the hook. Sure, there are a few moments where it felt more like The Truman Show at times but the idea of a fight to the death allows for some very suspenceful scenes and has you rooting for certain characters. My personal favourite tribute (As the contestants are called) is Thresh (Dayo Okeniyi) for one particular moment of awesome late in the film. There are some great twists and turns but, really, it's pretty predictable.
This is a very character driven film which, for me, is usually the kind of film mainly because it leaves a greater impression on you because you remember the great characters. The most memorable characters in my opinion are Haymitch (probably just because of Woody Harrelson!) and the two commentators Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci) and Claudius Templesmith (Toby Jones) mainly because of a combination of star appeal and hamminess...beautiful. I must also mentioned that Cato's () little alliance are probably the most hateable characters of the year...maybe some of the most hateable ever but this honour goes specifically to Clove (Isabelle Fuhrman)...I've never wanted a character dead so much in a film before.
The Hunger Games was a very nice surprise and way better than I could have possibly expected. I look past the main characters like Katniss and Peeta and prefer the side characters like Haymitch and Thresh. The narrative, while not necessarily new, leads to some very satisfying and suspenseful moments. While it may not the best film of the year, it is certainly one of the most surprising.
A surprising film that, while not exactly original. was very suspenseful and had some satisfying moments.