The Hunger Games (2012)

Gary Ross directs Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Woody Harrelson in this dystopian teen sci-fi where kids are forced to take part in an annual tournament to the death.

I’ll admit I was harshly dismissive of this on first watch. Who wants to go to the cinema to see a PG rated Battle Royale where everyone mopes about? Turns out… everyone. My wife and my Dad both love these films. Jennifer Lawrence is a big part of their connection to the watered down material I’d wager, though for very different reasons. I’d still contend that it is way too dour a fantasy to truly enjoy, the plankish boys Katniss is offered hardly get the juices flowing and Lawrence has to quietly add a lot physically to a blankly written avatar role. But I’m not a teenage girl, so what do I know? In my eyes, they even fumbled the easy to execute makeover scene… so are Cinderella dress-up moments and child-on-child violence awkward bedfellows? The world building is impressive, the adult support cast also match their new star and do lots with very little. Once that tame violence begins I did care about seeing at least how our heroine will survive to the finish line this cautious rewatch. In genre terms, this is pretty toned down business but as an introduction to a franchise or a form, there are far worse first steps out there.


Check out my wife Natalie’s Horror blog

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here

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