The Hunger Games
First things first. Writing this as a 40 year old bloke, I have had to realise that The Hunger Games may not exactly be directed towards my specific demographic. Therefore, looking at it a little differently, like maybe I was writing this as a 15 year old girl who liked good looking boys, fearless heroines and had never seen Big Brother, The Truman Show, Battle Royale, The Running Man, or Logan's Run then I would have to say it was the bestest, most originalest film I've ever seen. LOL.
Er, so anyway... It's the old dystopian future scenario but this time, and as well as featuring some hilarious wigs and costumes, the future now has twelve Districts and a Capitol, and each year two teenagers (1 boy and 1 girl) are chosen to fight in something called The Hunger Games. What the Hunger Games are is never fully explained and is all a bit confusing as everybody looks healthy and very well fed indeed.
Trained and mentored by drunk-one-moment-completely-coherent-the-next Woody Harrelson, our good looking hero and ballsy heroine types have to fight 22 other "Tributes" to the death to become the eventual winner. A flimsy reason for this is given and glossed over by a perpetually grumpy Donald Sutherland who plays his character with all the depth of a surly pantomime villain. But, I have to remember, I am a fifteen year old girl so I probably don't notice these kind of things.
So off we go into the woods full of baddies, genetically engineered wasps, the occasional help package, some magic dogs, and out of place love stories. Truth be told though, once the action starts and the pace picks up it's not actually too bad. During some parts, even to someone as weary and over-the-hill as myself it actually became quite enjoyable. Sure, it had to make some sacrifices to get it out to a wider (younger and more impressionable) audience, in that the violence is so toned down that even though over twenty people are killed, only a couple of them show any signs that their bodies actually contained blood in the first place.
Still, as enjoyable as some of it is, the lack of explanation to certain things (what's that three fingered salute all about?) and the glossing over of major plot points make the film something far less that great. And without trying to give the ending away, are we really expected to believe that in 74 years of the Hunger Games, and with seemingly every base covered with evil strategies and aided by some seriously superfangled technology, the situation we're faced with at movie's cliimax has never once arisen before and has absolutely no contingency plan in place to nullify it?
Apparently, there are two more films still to come so I can only hope they serve to shed more light on an enjoyable, if very flawed first film.