Kevin C. Wong

Movie - The Hunger Games (2012) [+]

I finally watched The Hunger Games and it's actually a pretty good film. I've watched the Divergent series which was ok and the first Maze Runner film which was not as ok and the Twilight series which was ok. The Hunger Games is at least as good as those other films.

In a dystopian future it's been almost 100 years since the outlying 12 districts rebelled against the central government. That rebellion was crushed and since then there has been an annual battle royale-type where each district sends a male and female teen to compete in a kill-or-be-killed multi-day outdoors death match.

In the 74th games Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers for the games in order to protect her younger sister. She is thrown in with random draw Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), kid from the better part of town (very relative since district 12 is poor coal miners -- all the districts seem to be lower-income resource producers and professionals for central gov) who has a secret crush on Katniss.

The two are thrown into a whole new glittery world at the capital city where they train with fellow contestants and try to garner sponsors (it's reality tv style where the contestants lives' are filmed and later on during the games sponsors can provide little gifts to help out their favorites). Then halfway through the film the game starts.

Battle Royale I think was the groundbreaking film that had teens battling each other to the death. That film was graphic and showed lots of individual kills in various ways. Although Hunger Games has that same central concept it's really a character drama centered on Katniss and most deaths you don't actually see and the ones you do see are tame, though at least varied. I think Katniss herself only kills a couple of contestants in self-defense.

The action as not as action-y as BR and the ending not as dramatic either, but HG does have a satisfying ending and sets up a bit for the next film in the series. There is Katniss' boyfriend Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) who stayed behind and watched the televised "romance" between Katniss and Peeta. There is also central gov President Coriolanus Snow (Donald Sutherland) who sees Katniss as a possible focal point that might spark a new rebellion.

Overall I found the film entertaining and look forward to watching the next film.