The Hunger Games (2012) ***

Hunger GamesA much anticipated film, I am told The Hunger Games is better read than seen on the big screen. (As implied, I have not read the young-adult novel prior to seeing the film.) The Hunger Games struck me as a mixture of at least 10 different stories/films/myths if not more. Though every work of art, even the most original, is a product of past influences, the inspirations here were all too obvious not to stand out and distract. From the Greek myth of Theseus and the Roman gladiatorial games, to George Orwell’s 1984 Big Brother and Animal Farm, The Truman Show, Survivor, Lord of the Flies, and the list goes on. In fact, I don’t think I ever seen a movie with so many influences. That by itself may make The Hunter Games an original... Being that I didn’t read the story ahead of seeing The Hunger Games (it should not be a requirement for a book-based film,) I found the premise of the story itself unclear. Though explained in the film’s start, it made no clear sense to me and if I, as an audience, did not buy into the story’s basic logic, nothing else can work. Regardless, the acting in the film is terrific as is the directing and the cinematography. Once rolling, it is an engaging tale through its over 2 hours of running time. If you read the book, I suspect you may enjoy it more than I did. p.s. I would not show it to young adults under the age of 14, especially if they are sensitive.