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The Hunger Games -  cover

The Hunger Games 

Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the Capitol of the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen volunteers in her younger sister's place and must rely upon her sharp instincts when she's pitted against highly trained Tributes who have prepared their entire lives. If she's ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love. In the future all wars have ended, but famine and poverty still remain in a new North Amercia, which has been split into 12 Districts. To appease the people, and pay tribute to the fallen, Capitol City have devised The Hunger Games, in which 2 children from each District are chosen to fight to the death live on TV. The film follows the fortunes of the two chosen from District 12, and we see them whisked off to Capitol City - a pastel coloured "Willy Wonka" style place in which the people wear outlandish costumes, have bizarre haircuts and live seemingly empty and decedent lives. Here they are treated like royalty, and trained in readiness for the games. Eventually the children are pitted against each other and the game begin. It is here that the film begins to remind one of the Japanese classic of a few years back 'Battle Royale' - but without as much blood or violence. As the game progresses the rules begin to change to attain an ending which is pleasing to the masses, rather than those "playing" the game, and new elements are thrown in to ensure excitement and "fun" for the viewers. The film takes a long time to really hit its stride - the opening sequences seemingly go on forever - and there is no doubt that this film owes a big debt to 'Battle Royale', as well as nods to the original 'Rollerball' (in as much as war has been outlawed and violence has become controlled and organised for the entertainment of the masses) and even 'Logans Run', but it has enough in it to make it a stand-up, worthwhile film in its own right. Not the least of these is the way in which TV is shown to become cynical and exploitative, where - in much the same way as the Ancient Romans had their "Blood and Circuses" - love and death are merely elements in mass entertainment. The production is very good - the future Capitol City looks amazing - whilst the acting ranges from excellent (the young actress playing the lead role is very good), to screen chewing (Woody Harrleson eats his heart out!!). The other thing about the film is its length - at almost 2hours 30minutes there is no doubt that it is just too long! A good half hour could have been lost without losing any of the tension or drama. Worth seeing definitely, but make sure you watch it in a comfortable cinema (or else take a cushion!)

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Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller

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    • Sci-Fi
    • Thriller
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    142 min.
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