This one might be of the most anticipated flicks of the moment. I am talking about The Hunger Games and boy was I hungry to go and see it.
The movie starts off in futuristic setting that reminded me of a reborn Roman Empire. Every man and woman is a quasi 19 th century pleb with technology being scarce. Vaguely having knowledge about the mythical Capitol which symbolizes old Rome. A city where decadence is a colorful art and entertainment seems to be centralized around its annual Hunger Games. Where would Rome be without its bread and circuses? the Roman poet Juvenal would say. But Juvenal could not have dreamed of all participants being juveniles.
A boy and girl are chosen from each of the twelve districts in the world of Panem to forcefully participate in a jungle gladiator spectacle. Only one shall remain and claim his freedom for the good of a free and peaceful civilization after all others are disposed of. How noble of the leaders to send children like pigs to the slaughter. So before her sister is set on the stage to be honored in a horrific way as the next, not even juvenile, gladiator facing certain death, her sister steps in.
This is where one of the main characters shows the crowd her bravery. Katniss Everdeen, played by the lovely Jennifer Lawrence, volunteers and is joined by Peeta Mellark, played by Josh Hutcherson. Both of them show some solid acting. A good performance for the young actors in an environment which is convincingly augmented by CGI. A boy and a girl facing certain death. In Hollywood this always means brewing love conquers all evil and in the end always wins, unless you are watching something like Westside Story of Romeo and Juliet.
Nothing is different with this flick, which is a predictable auto spoiler experience. Solid acting I can agree on but some details in the plot were just not credible to put it lightly. One scene where this is quite obvious is the one where Katniss is spotted by a fellowship of homicidal juveniles ready to finish her off with the blink of an eye. One is even trained from childhood to be a mean fighting machine. So Katniss runs for her life and finds refuge in a big old tree. Unfortunately she is spotted by the band of thugs and she is a literal sitting duck. Now, knowing that there is a knife thrower and archer amongst them it should not be that hard to hit the big birdy in the tree right? Not supernaturally protected Katniss or should I say dumbstruck thugs (and me). For some mysterious reason they can’t seem to find the proper angle to hit her. So after only one of them also tries to climb the tree they all go to sleep. Next morning Katniss wakes up early and coincidently she discovers a nest of genetically modified wasps hanging above the sleeping gang. How convenient! After getting stung by the little creepers, she manages to saw through the branch and drop the nest right in the middle of the enemy’s camp. All run for their lifes of course, this is a natural reaction. Not for the girl standing still and waving her arms like mad. She dies shortly after getting stung a million times and guess what she leaves behind?
A bow, the only weapon our heroine can handle. How lucky to find this in a stiff fist of a female Quasimodo look-alike. Having had no opportunity to grab it during the initial slaughter when all contestants entered an open field of jungle Colosseum. I could not help thinking that I was watching one of those old games like Monkey Island where you need to solve crazy puzzles. Only this one being more predictable.
I haven’t read the book and hope the writer did a better job than this.The end of course was also predictable. Only one man standing between the almost well earned freedom of Katniss and Peeta after being chased by bloodthirsty hounds which for some reason could not run faster than the average human being. The one person standing in their way was of course the Spartan, raised from birth to become a voluntary testosterone crack pot gladiator. Somehow he lost the battle from Peeta by not being able to withstand his strength. Forgetting anything like superior combat skills the douche bag is thrown off the fort to be immediately attacked by the hounds and given a mercy shot by the ever noble Katniss.
Both lovers have finally won the game and may claim their prize, but the rules once again change and they need to finish each other off. Not the change they can believe in after hearing that both members of the same district can win! How sad, and how lucky that they have some toxic berries, which they found near a corpse of a girl who never heard that eating strange berries might be a bad idea. Now let’s commit suicide and show the crowd how the game is played. Go for it Romeo, finish it off Juliet! To no avail, the predictable voice from heaven prevents them and they shall both live happily ever after.
The person least happy was me. Not because they shall live happily ever after obviously, but because it was bound to happen two hours ago. Contemplating about this flick with such an unoriginal plot, I concluded that this was what the crowd wanted. In the end I lost the game and my admission fee, but they have won the crowd. My mistake, I should have known from the start. Nevertheless, I would definitely recommend anyone who has not read thru the spoilers to watch it on Blu-ray. There is enough to enjoy for a reasonable price. Certainly more than some movies I also have to paid.