SF elements: dystopia; televised fight to the death
I haven’t read the book yet, so this is the review of the film alone.
We are in a dystopian world, many decades in the future. For no readily apparent reason 12 hunger-riven Districts must annually send two “tributes” to play in the Hunger Games, a gladiatorial fight to the death where only one survives, broadcast as a Game Show in the downtrodden Districts, and also in the Capitol where the effete rich people live. When Kaitness Everdeen’s younger sister is chosen by lottery as the female tribute for District 12, she volunteers in her place.
There are few surprises here in this long film (142mins) (what, you mean you hadn’t predicted the rule change at the end?), but it is relatively well made, and once the Games begin, quite engaging, with some clever little touches like the fire cloaks, and the wasp nest, and avoiding the mines.
Jennifer Lawrence makes a good Kaitness: competent, resourceful, determined, and scared. Importantly, there is a reason Kaitness can realistically compete despite not having trained: she’s been using a bow to hunt in the woods for food for her family. (But why do these film archers never collect their spent arrows? And how do they keep walking around with their bow drawn?)
The scene with the apple in the pig’s mouth is amusing (if predictable), yet surely those people would have been protected better: has no-one in the past 70-odd years of the Games ever attempted something similar?
And of course Kaitness wins. But nothing else in the world changes. Even if I didn’t already know, I’d suspect a sequel.
reviewed 28 June 2014