Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Hunger Games

I haven't read these books, but with all the hype I had to check out the movie. I also wanted to see where on the spectrum of teen-oriented blockbusters it fell. Was it at the terrible end, down there with the Twilight movies? Or, was it at the high end, hanging out with the Harry Potters?

I'm happy to report that I'm glad I went to The Hunger Games. I enjoyed it, and I can see its appeal for the YA audience. The main story--plucky teens fighting to the death--has a sort of unpleasant but undeniable built-in appeal, and the actors and script delivered reasonably well on the device. The corrupt society that stages these games was clearly corrupt, with the director and writer missing no opportunity to show you that most of these folks in the Capitol are decadent and bad. I learned, for example, that in the future all rich people will have really long fake eyelashes. Good to know.

Aside from those overly broad brush strokes, the film did a fine job of making you care about the youthful leads and of keeping you moving fast enough that you were willing to suspend your disbelief about the basic concept.

I definitely recommend seeing it.

As for its place on the YA blockbuster continuum, it's in the upper third but not the top. It towers over the dreadful Twilight movies, but it falls well short of the Potter flicks. The key reason is probably that, as my wise daughter observed, almost everyone wants to live in Harry Potter's world, even to be Harry or one of the other kids at Hogwarts, while almost no one wants to be Katniss Everdeen. We want to root for her, and we do, but few of us want to be sent into a fight to the death with a bunch of other kids. (Kyle, you may be a notable exception. Get over it.)

So, see the film, expect to have a good time, but if you're not already a huge Hunger Games fan, don't expect to come away completely in love with it.


Brian D said...

Also in the future there are no black people (somehow Lenny Kravitz was spared).
[A friend of mine from Africa pointed this out, and I was sad to say I hadn't noticed]

Brian D said...

I admit having said the above without seeing the movie. Apparently I'm wrong, the cast was diverse according to others who've seen it and corrected my cynicism.


Blog Archive