I unexpectedly (and very last minute) got to go see The Hunger Games this weekend. Here are my thoughts on it. (Spoilers here, but I imagine everyone and their mom has by now either read the book or seen the movie so whatever. Read at your own risk.)
First, the trailers. There was a teaser for the last Twilight movie- thank goodness that will finally be over. There was also a trailer for Snow White and the Huntsman, which is looking better and better to me despite Kristen Stewart starring. Also, The Avengers! It looks soooo good. ImsoexcitedIcantwaitforMay4th. Seriously. There was a trailer for the new Spider-Man as well, still not sure how I feel about that one. The other Spider-Man came out just a few years ago and did very well, critically and commercially. How do they justify a new one? Or are they just trying to capitalize on the other one’s financial success? Well, anyways, the last trailer I remember was for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. I’m not sure what tone the people behind this movie are going for but once people in the theater I was at saw what the movie was, they laughed. So if they’re going for ridiculous it might work. Otherwise, I’m not sure people are really interested in seeing Abraham Lincoln as a… well… vampire hunter.
On to the movie! I still haven’t read the book. I have also spent the last year or so trying to fight against the overwhelming hype behind this series. But I have grown increasingly curious about it. So the opportunity arose to see it and I took it.
I liked the movie overall. It was very entertaining and I can see why Katniss is so popular. It’s nice to see a girl that isn’t tough just because she’s a “strong female character” stereotype. She’s tough because she’s a survivor. And the Reaping, where she sacrifices herself for her little sister? Pretty powerful stuff. She’s tough, but she’s got a heart. I like it. So she and Peeta head off to the Capital which turns out to be a really awesome mix of Japanese pop culture and pseudo-Victoriana. I guess. I’m not really sure what was going on there but I know I want to live there. The only relatively normal looking one we meet there turns out to be…Lenny Kravitz? How does that work? He kinda creeped me out with some of those looks he was sending to Katniss. (She is way too young for you dude. And watch out cuz she’s a killer!) Most of the time in the Capital is spent showing how unlovable Katniss is and how unsuited Peeta is for the competition. But then! Katniss shoots an apple and all of a sudden everyone loves her and she’s the top choice to win! Hooray!
So we finally get to the actual game. Katniss and Peeta run off immediately after following their mentor Haymitch’s good advice. But not before Katniss gets a chance to see what a blood bath it actually is. (Half the contestants dead within 5 minutes? Jeez.) It’s off to the woods now where Katniss is in her element. After traveling too far away from other contestants she gets herded back towards them with fire controlled by the game masters. She gets badly burned but some miracle cream is sent to her that heals it overnight. Nice. Oh, there’s an alliance trying to kill her at the same time, she defeats them with the help of Rue, a young contestant. I guess Rue is supposed to be a sister substitute for Katniss? Good thing she dies though, since I’m not sure how that would have worked out if they were the last two alive. Oh, and Rue’s death scene? Totally ruined when the guy behind me says “It’s only a flesh wound”. There went that moment. Katniss does some three finger salute that I assume means something but is never explained. Katniss and Peeta join together when the rules seem to change allowing for 2 winners if they are from the same district. Until it’s changed back at the last moment. But then when Katniss and Peeta threaten to kill themselves leaving no winners it’s back to being okay there are two. People in the Capital aren’t very happy about that which I assume has a good deal to do with the sequels but for now Katniss and Peeta are back home to their lives in District 12.
Like I said, I found the movie to be entertaining. But I definitely feel it would have been a whole lot better if I had read the books beforehand. I’ve also heard rumors of a love triangle between Katniss, Peeta and Gale. But I can’t understand why Katniss would ever be interested romantically in Peeta. Unless it’s because she’s got some complex where she has to “save” people. Because really, Peeta? Dragging her down. I was also unable to get rid of the undertone of horror I personally felt throughout the entire movie. How in the world does a trilogy of books for young adults about killing people for sport become so ridiculously popular?!!? This isn’t like Twilight where you’ve got some lowest common denominator love story. The Hunger Games is undeniably brutal and horrifying. I’ll eventually get around to reading the books but something tells me it will never be a favorite of mine.