Well, yesterday a couple of friends text me and suggested I should join them at the movies to see the Hunger Games. I have not heard anything about the movie being out of the country, but said yes and afterwards I asked my friend Craig about the film. I understand that expectations for this new release are high as it opens today. He tells me the movie is based on the book by Suzanne Collins and also shares the basic story of film. Since killing and gore are not necessarily my theme of choice in movies, I begin to get ready to join my friends with expectations that the movie may no be terribly enjoyable for me.
The movie is set in a post-apocalyptic world where civilization is broken up into 12 districts. Every year in remembrance of an uprising, the government holds "Hunger Games" where two youth from each district are randomly chosen to compete in an wilderness arena where only one victor emerges and all the others die.
The story begins with district 12 preparing for their selection process where Jennifer Lawrence's character Katniss Everdeen volunteers to participate in the games when her younger sister Primerose is the random chose as this years female participant (tributes) from the district. She is joined by the male tribute from district 12 Peeta played by Josh Hutchenson. They are soon taken away from the poverty stricken district to the capital city where they are given guidance and all the luxuries that they had not seen or fathomed prior. Soon the games begin with the 24 youth standing on platforms in a large meadow surrounded by forest. In the middle of the meadow is a pile of supplies and weapons available to the youth when the game begins. If they can manage collecting them and not getting killed by the others. The game begins and the first blood is shed. My fears of a gore fest were put to easy as the killing was done with most of it left to the imagination. Signified by a canon shot, each of the 24 young people are killed by either each other or the elements. Manipulated by the adults in the control room, each move is monitored and if something is moving in a direction that is not favorable, the adults add an element to the arena to change the course of direction. Katniss, something of the American frontiersman, finds her way to survive several near death experiences with the help her abilities and some of the other youth.
The movie definitely has it's evil group of teens who band together to eliminate the others and this is where Peeta ends up first. For me there seemed to be a lapse in event sequences where I am not sure how Peeta gets away from this group who are using him to find Katniss before they plan to kill him too. Somehow he gets away and meets up with Katniss and the "love story" begins as he shares his long time crush on his co-tribute. After a while the adults realize the power of a love story and the rules of the game are changed. They have decided that a pair of tributes from the same district can win the game together. The two district 12 tributes team up and are the final two remaining alive. As they stand there waiting for the end of the game, the adults once again change the rules and make it so that there can only be one winner. Peeta tells Katniss to kill him and in a Romeo and Juliette moment, Katniss suggest that they both eat poison berries together. This is unacceptable for the adults so they change the rules again and both tributes are winners but the adults are not happy with this. They story ends with the two tributes returning to district 12 and their families and friends.
I would have to say the movie met and exceeded my expectations. I was expecting more killing and gore and it was more of a killing game in the mind. I left the theater telling my friends that I liked it. I would not tell everyone it was a must see because for me a lot of it was predictable and typical but then again it was a nice story. I will give it 4 stars out of five (****0)