The Hunger Games 2012 ★★

Despite Hunger Games' best efforts to make me hate it, I didn’t despise it entirely. Gary Ross′ direction is competent, and the actors do a decent enough job selling their roles. The story though is simply terrible, and the world that the story takes place in is uninspired to say the least.

The film is set in a fictional world where the disparity between classes is massive. The poor working class live in squalor, while the rich live in luxury. The film shows these two classes in an entirely unimaginative way. The poor are shown as living in rundown houses, basing their entire lives around blue collar industries. The rich live in high rise buildings, and dress in ridiculous clothes. Now this is supposed to be the future, but it seems like the poor have absolutely no technological advancements. The rich though are able to build a killing arena in which a gorilla dog monster can appear out of the dirt simply because someone draws it in the arena’s high tech command centre. It seems strange to me that a society with such insane technology would still require human miners, but apparently this has something to do with politics. I say apparently, because it is simply alluded to in two scenes.

Just as the class war idea is about as subtle as a crowbar to the face, so is the future world the film has created. The main city in the film is all shiny and new looking, and the people that inhabit the city are dressed in garish colours. They also have weirdly coloured hair and eye makeup. This science fiction idea of outrageous colours and clothing has been done many times before, and by now has become boring. Its an unimaginative person who thinks that the future means people with coloured hair, and weird designs in their beards.

Now I did say I didn’t entirely despise this film, and its true. Some of the moments in the fighting arena are interesting, and well realized. My favourite moment being a plan created and carried out by two of the characters. I also thought that creating a group of supporters around the main girl’s character is a nice touch. This is mostly because Woody Harrelson is part of the group of characters. I like Woody Harrelson. These two things are about all I really liked about the movie. Every time I was intrigued by something, or became interested, the film would introduce some new twist that stomped out any hope that I would enjoy the film. You would think that twenty four characters having to kill each other would be enough conflict for any movie, but Hunger Games is constantly adding new dangers and conflict. I hated this, and the adding of new conflict gets particularly bad in the third act of the film.

I struggled to write my thoughts on this film, because as soon as I left the theatre I no longer wanted to think about what I had watched. While there are some moments that caught my interest, these moments are few and far between. I only made it about thirty pages into the book when I attempted reading it last year, and I wish that I had only made it thirty minutes into the film adaptation.