After much anticipation, the greatly publicized and highly criticized, movie The Hunger Games came out this past weekend. The movie takes place in a future where kids, aged twelve to eighteen are pitted against one another in a deadly game of survival in order to be rewarded with incredible amounts of food for their family. Twenty four kids are picked to fight to the death, and only one can be rewarded the victor. There are twelve districts, and each one picks one male and one female child, or Tribute as they are called, from their community to enter the game. The game takes place once a year and on this year’s drawing, Katniss Everdeen’s (Jennifer Lawrence) twelve year old sister Primrose (Willow Shields) is called to enter the competition. Not wanting her younger sister to have to compete, sixteen year old Katniss volunteers herself to take the place of her sister. Each contestant is then taken to a training facility where they are taught to fight in preparation for the event. Once there, they are given instructions and training from past winners of the deadly game. Katniss and the other contestant chosen from her district, Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) are matched up with a drunken former champion by the name of Haymitch (Woody Harrelson). He informs them that their greatest challenge will come from the highly trained tributes that come from the wealthier districts, who have trained all their lives for these games. In order for Katniss to survive she will have to make choices between her humanity and her will to survive.

Now first off let me say that this premise for a movie is not going to be for everyone. The idea of kids killing one another as a spectator sport is not a highly accepted idea for a film, let alone a book geared towards teenage readers. What everyone has to take into account is that this is just a fictional story, like any other. The movie doesn’t offer any really brutal kid killing kid scenes, but instead leaves most of those scenes to the viewer’s imagination. There are definitely a bunch of subjects covered in this story that will have the viewer wondering what type of civilization would accept this type of behavior towards young kids. I believe that was what the writer was going for, basically showing that with the growing number of brutal sports in the world, how far are we from a civilization that would accept this type of brutality as a spectator sport. There was definitely one very touching scene in the movie where one of the younger contestants gets struck by a spear, and it will have you ready to cry. Most of these kids that are chosen to be entered into this game are just innocent kids who don’t want to hurt anyone. They basically hide from the more aggressive kids, but even that won’t keep them alive for too long, because if they don’t find them, then the powers that be have their own ways of eliminating contestants.

I thought this movie was extremely interesting because the writer went into a taboo subject matter and made you think about what was going on. The way these kids were being treated was appalling and unacceptable. I think this is the most interesting story to be made into a movie in quite some time. It took the aspect of movies like Logan’s Run and The Running Man to a whole new level. I now know why this book has more than 26 million copies in print in the U.S. alone, and has a huge global following. It has also spent more than one hundred and eighty consecutive weeks and more than three consecutive years on the New York Times bestseller list, since its publication in 2008. Plus this is just the first of the three books in publication. With this movie making over $152 million in its opening weekend, I’m sure they will soon be starting production on the second of the three movies based on the books. I gave this film 3 ½ stars out of 4. It’s one of the best films I’ve seen this year, so far. The film runs 2 hours and 22 minutes. It’s rated PG-13 for intense thematic violent material and disturbing images, all involving teens. It was written by Gary Ross and Billy Ray, from source material from Suzanne Collin’s novel “The Hunger games”. The movie was directed by Gary Ross and Steven Soderbergh. It was distributed by Lionsgate.

“May the odds be ever in your favor.” – Effie Trinket from “The Hunger Games”
Next movie reviewed: Wrath of the Titans

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