Monday, March 26, 2012

Film Review: The Hunger Games

Living overseas for the past few years, you can miss out on a book series. If the people that you trust to tell you about good books never tell you about a book, then there is a good chance that you won’t read the book.

I had no idea what “The Hunger Games” were about until I saw a preview for the film. While I was watching the preview, I thought that it was a total rip-off of the 2000 Japanese film “Battle Royale”.

Now as a film critic, sometimes I feel the need to explain to you why or what baggage I bring to a film before I tell you about it and in this case, I thought that it would be needed.

If you a long time reader of my reviews, you will remember a few years ago when I listed my all time favorite films and in that list I included“Battle Royale". So when I stated to do research about the film “The Hunger Games” before I went to watch it I wanted to see how much of the Royale story was included in this film.

So this review is being written by a huge fan of the film “Battle Royal” and a person who has not read any of the books associated with this series.

Now I went and saw this film on a Friday afternoon and to my amazement there were about 300 people waiting in line for this film. There were a lot of kids between the age of 12-18 in line with their parents and the students were on spring break and the few that I asked had told me that they had read the book, had never heard of Battle Royale and were on spring break and that they really loved the books and wanted to see the film.

I really went into this film thinking that this is a PG-13 of “Battle Royale” aimed right at the fans of the “Twilight” series and after I saw the film, it did not thing to change my mind about my previous idea. The Author of the book, Susan Collins, claims that she had never heard of BR and that it was just a coincidence all of the similarities of her book and the BR story.

If you have seen BR and you love the film, then you should not watch this film and avoid it at all cost. If you saw BR, then you saw the killing and how brutal is was when 24 teen-agers kill each other. I kept looking at the death scenes herein this film and thinking how clean and how fake all of killing looked, and to get the PG-13 and the American Teen audience, it had to be that way.

The film takes about 1 hour to get the idea and plot set up before THG starts and when it does, the teens in my audience became quiet and really focused into the film. After the film was over, the majority of the teens that I talked to wanted part 2 and 3 of this series to be in the theaters ASAP. They loved the movie and I hated it.

Now readers the next part is up to you, do you see THG when it opens in Korea in 04/12 or do you give it a pass? My recommendation is this…

If you liked the Harry Potter and Twilight Series then you should go and see this film. If you have also read the books then I feel that you should also go and see the film because I think that you’ll like it because the teens in my audience did and they left the theater wanting more. If you’re a fan of BR, then please pass on this film for the reasons that I have earlier stated in this review.

There were no extra scenes at the end of the credits and the teens that stayed for the end of the credits were disappointed by it. I really haven’t said much about what happens in the film in this review, I feel that you should watch it spoiler free and make your own call about that.

Good luck with your choice and please let me know what you think of this film.

Grade D-…Pathetic Rip-Off of Battle Royale…..

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