Settling into the familiar chair and placing my drink in it’s holder, I began to watch the Hunger Games and the first thing that hits is it’s very adult premise, 12 districts of a futuristic country known as Panem (America if you are wondering) have been exiled from the rest of the country due to a past uprising. As punishment, one teenage boy and another teen girl both between the ages of 12-18 from each district must be selected for the Hunger Games – a televised sport where contestants fight to the death. Only one can win.
Our teens quickly set about vying for sponsors who buy the weapons, food and survival gear for the kids once the Games have begun. The chosen 24 must train and live together, which throws up a moral dilemma -living with people who are eventually going to try and eliminate you is a complex and deep emotional experience in itself. One of which most humans cannot comprehend. Neither it seems do the film makers as this is brushed to the side.
Moving to the arena things are again messily slopped together. Our protagonist Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) is a clever one, heading straight for the woods avoiding the massacre that ensues in the "Season Premier," which is little more than staring at angry faces for 2 minutes while they kill each other off screen. It all seems unbelievable as one would expect with teenagers to gang together and rebel against society, and not kill each other.
Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson & Lenny Kravitz provide a human relief as opposed to the emotionless and robotic children in the film. Most of whom are actually in their 20s. After two hours of willing this film to not be Battle Royale, it ends up being a mis-match of the cult Asian film mixed with Hollywood sodomy. Yes, minor details have changed, however teens killing other teens for the pleasure of adults hasn't.
2 out of 5.