The Hunger Games

I watched this teen thriller, and was at once impressed and annoyed. I thought the actors all did a great job, and the movie was well made and good quality. On the other  hand, it was in desperate need of some editing, and there were several things that made me irritated.

In a battle royal type scenario, two tributes are taken from each of 12 districts in this future dystopian world, and all are forced to fight until only one remains. I’m not sure what the purpose of this is, but its been going on for 70 years and is a popular spectacle… or maybe its not, and causes riots. I’m not sure.

The first hour of the movie is spent establishing that Katniss knows how to use a bow, and showing her wearing pretty clothes. When we finally get to the action I was impressed they managed to get away with wht they did while still having a PG13 rating. Children murdering each other is not usually something you see so front and center.

Over all this was a good action movie, which I thought would have been better if 20 or 30 minutes was trimmed out of the beginning and used instead to make the motivations of the people in charge more clear.

Things that annoyed me: Spoilers:

These are minor things but are so common and annoying in all kinds of movies and books, that I thought I should mention them.

At one point Katniss is chased up a tree by a group who has teamed up to kill her. They decide to wait down below for her to come down, and eventually they all fall asleep. Katniss wakes up before them, and sees another girl in another tree across from her. The girl waves, then points up at a giant nest of mutant killer bees that Katniss hadn’t notices after an entire night up in the tree with it. Then after only getting a blank stare in return, the girl makes elaborate miming motions to explain to Katniss that she should cut the branch so that the bee hive will drop on the kids waiting to kill her below.

Besides how odd it is that she didn’t notice that giant hive of killer bees, the real annoying thing about this scene is that the protagonist is being helped out of a tough situation instead of  persevering on her own merits. I know this scene was used as a way to introduce the Rue character, but they could have had her just point out the nest and Katniss, being the resourceful hero she is, know immediately the significance of it, instead of her just staring like a helpless child and having to be told in specific detail what to do.

Annoying scene number two happens near the climax of the film. Katniss is tackled and pinned to the ground by another kid, and a knife held to her throat. Then, in classic villain tradition, the other girl (I can’t remember her name) starts telling Katniss about how she killed Rue and is now going to kill her. While she is going on and on about how she’s going to kill Katniss, she is tackled and killed by another kid, who overheard her saying she’d killed Rue.

This is annoying because instead of our hero surviving on their own merit, because of skill or determination, she is only alive due to extreme luck. If that girl had decided to just cut her throat, she’d be dead. If that guy hadn’t overheard what was going on and decided to save her, she’d be dead. It’s not a very satisfying feeling when the story is only continuing because of a really good dice roll.

This scene could have been improved by having Katniss holding the knife at bay, struggling for control of it, while the other girl says how she killed Rue and will kill her.

End spoilers.

Anyway, it was a good movie overall, I might watch the other three.


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