The Hunger Games (4 stars)

I didn’t want to like the Hunger Games, partly due to its popularity and partly due to dystopia-fatigue. (Let’s imagine a better future for a change.) At the start, the movie looked like an update to Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery set in modern day Appalachia. When the setting changed to Tim Burton’s vision of Oz, I rolled my eyes. However, I was won over by the actors who were actually incredible in their roles. I didn’t recognize Elizabeth Banks. Stanley Tucci was phenomenal. I don’t like Woody Harrelson yet he overcame my dislike. Jennifer Lawrence is solid and credible, as are all the rest.

Kudos to the set and costume designers. It’s not easy to visualize future fashion, even if it’s a mild stretch from modern-day parties in LA or San Francisco. What’s old is new again though never quite the way it was. I was fascinated by one character’s beard, of all things.

I still dislike the underlying premise. I distrust Hollywood portraying a world of haves and have-nots, at least one in which the have-nots overcome. Hollywood produces our bread and circuses. Can we trust them more than we do the Koch Brothers? Oh, but why worry about that when we can talk about the upcoming sequel.

Share this…