The Hunger Games(2012)
Directed by Gary Ross
Man, the second bad film in a row I`ve seen this weekend. So glad I made up for it with “Headhunters”(2011) today, I may write a review about that film, too, cuz it was a pretty pleasant surprise after two bad apples.
The Hunger Games takes place in a nation known as Panem after the destruction of North America by some unknown apocalyptic event. Panem consists of a wealthy Capitol and twelve surrounding, poorer districts. District 12, where the book begins, is located in the coal-rich region that was formerly Appalachia. As punishment for a previous rebellion against the Capitol in which a 13th district was destroyed, one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 from each district are selected by annual lottery to participate in the Hunger Games, an event in which the participants (or “tributes”) must fight in an outdoor arena controlled by the Capitol, until only one remains.
I didn`t expect much of this, given that the story wasn`t exactly tickling my interest, I´ve seen BATTLE ROYALE, and that surely is a much grittier and more memorable experience than this.
I know , there are a few books out, that seem to be very popular, though I´ve never heard of them. They sure as hell must be better than this poor film version. They surely tackle the issues in the story with more depth and seriousness, than the film does.
It is a watered down version, for teen audiences, it has a love story and a supergay elite, that lives in the capitol, the place where the rich one percent of people lives. It depicts the USA in the future,now called Panem, there is the capitol, and there are the 12 districts, which are milked for all what they are worth, so the rich folks can enjoy life in their capitol.
Each year, one male and one female are chosen to participate in the game-a battle to the death. Somehow not really an idea, that would strike me as something, that ensures the districts to behave and not revolt against that elite of supergays. ( No offense intended to gay people, but the look of them all is just so over the top, it`s not funny.) The Games don`t change anything in the lifes of the people living in the districts, they only lose a few loved ones more each year, and the winner gets to live in the capital.(?) Hardly enough to keep them from revolting, but OK…
Again, the books, as much as I´ve understood, are much more in depths about it all, characters and the overall story.
But for a US blockbuster, it must be dumbed down, so the audience isn`t disturbed with thought-provoking material.
And this is what happened, very much so.
For fans of the books, it may be nice to see their “beloved ” story on screen, but if they are honest to themselves, they must admit, it`s a poor adaption. For me, not knowing anything about it all going in, it took a full hour before any kind of action took place. And following that, I saw a watered down version of Battle Royale, mixed with Robin Hood, any dystopian future film that involves some sort of unjust regime and a half-assed love story.
That may appeal to young girls, but not to me. I have seen too many films, good and bad, so that I expect a little more, but then again, one shouldn`t expect anything from Hollywood. They just look for the money potential, not for quality of material.
And rarely does this money machine produce something with long-term value. And if they do, they tend to fuck it all up with sequels. There are exceptions, of course, but that`s not the point.
It didn`t make sense to me, that some of the kids build a group and went after the rest of the contenders. Just one thing that annoyed me. The whole thing felt so lame, I truly didn`t come across one detail that I would`ve called interesting.
The look of the capitol and it`s inhabitants was lame, uninteresting. Their gadgets for the game…lame.
Just nothing there to justify watching it more than once, and even this one time was two and a half hours of lost life-time.
If your curiosity level is low for this one, keep away, your not missing anything.
Let`s hope some of the money they end up making with this crap goes into producing something worthwhile.
But we also will have to endure two more movies, as there are 3 books out there.