Two Of A Kind: Caitlin McGrane Really Didn’t Like “The Hunger Games”

Posted on May 2, 2012


Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to throw your rotten fruit at me. I’m about to re-make a bold statement, and some of you may be upset, shocked, or offended. If that is the case then I advise that you suck it up and deal with it, or fight it out in the Comments below.

The Hunger Games was boring. I hate to be the one to tell you, but I couldn’t find it gripping. The whole thing looked so sterile, especially the violence, that I couldn’t feel empathy for the characters. I also felt it was totally unclear what they were fighting for, why can’t they rise up and stop the absolute nonsense of sending kids off to fight each other to the death? It makes no sense. Now I get that some of you may have read the books, but don’t jump on me with the whole ‘Oh but you have to have read the books to get it’ schtick. I am having none of it. One should be able to go and see a film adaptation of a book, and be able to understand it. For example, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. I haven’t read the John le Carre classic, but I understood perfectly what was going on, even with an extremely complicated plot, multiple names for characters, and the added bonus of it being set in the 70s. No such luck with The Hunger Games unfortunately. Bored to tears was I.

The Girl on Fire

That aside, the acting wasn’t half bad. The good kids did their good kid thing very well, and the bad kids behaved as bad kids ought, maybe with a touch more psychopath to them. (Although, I think we’ve all seen The Exorcist, and know kids can be pretty bloody mental sometimes, amirite?) The acting talent is pretty fantastic, not only the two “teenage” (puhlease, there is NO way you are 16) leads, Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson but Donald-Fucking-Sutherland as the President of this weird dystopia. Not to mention Stanley Tucci, a man whose performances I always enjoy. That’s right even The Devil Wears Prada – he made me laugh, what?

ANYWAY, I do believe that the books have a fascinating concept. I mean, Lord of the Flies is taught in school, and that’s full of kids being truly dreadful to each other. And for me, I think that’s precisely why The Hunger Games film fell down. I felt that it was an old story dressed up by Vivienne Westwood and Tim Burton (but I have to credit Dr. Mark Kermode for that particularly accurate description) with some futuristic gadgets. The film wasn’t gripping because I was fairly confident there was going to be a handily-placed escape for the heroes.

Don’t even get me started on the distinct lack of actual kickarsery I thought Katniss (Lawrence) would have the display. When she volunteers in place of her sister (not a spoiler, it’s in the trailer), and we know that she can shoot with a bow-and-arrow, I was expecting this girl to put on her shit-kicking boots. But alas, she opted for romance over violence, all together now… “ahhhh”.

NO. Bleurrrgh.

Katniss + Archery = Kickassery?

I’m going to stop now before I become more enraged than is necessary. If the purpose of this film was to comment on how desensitised we are to violence, then I’m afraid the director (Gary Ross) failed with me. I don’t watch gory horror films, so I don’t think that was it, I blame boredom.

Another Kermode quote before I go: ‘There’s an awful lot of Hunger before you get to the Games’

Agree with Caitlin or is the gist of your opinion in another district (say 13…pun entirely intended). Battle it out in the comments section. Otherwise, if you want to take a look at another of Caitlin’ reviews click here.
Posted in: Movies