REVIEW: Battle Royale USA (aka The Hunger Games)
Throughout the month of April there was one film’s name that I kept hearing. It was regulary held up in high regard as The Avengers. ‘If a film is supposed to be as good as the Avengers then it must be really good’ is what I thought.
Last night I finally got my chance to see the film and there was instantly one question that came to my mind. “Are these people idiots?” To tell the truth, the the Hunger Games does start incredibly well. But after 20 minutes the film just dovetails into a trainwreck. The film takes forever to truly get moving and by the point that it does. I’ve stopped caring about the characters and paying attention to the films story. There is so much time spent on the build up to the games that when the Games do finally begin it’s far too late in the film.
The worst thing about this film is that it comes off as a very weak copy of the japanese film Batlle Royale. Except with Battle Royale it had a far stronger storyline and a far more believable romance storyline. Anyone who watches Battle Royale would immediately notice incredibly strong parallels in the Hunger Games “storyline”. Battle Royale is obviously the more violent film but it’s also stronger in its story cohesion. Battle Royale’s storyline flows along smoothly while The Hunger Games struggles. It’s weight of backstory and characters weighing it down so that it is impossible to move from one act to another seamlessly.
There are other problems with the Hunger Games as well. The teenaged love story is difficult to believe, it’s characters are badly written (with some directly copied again from Battle Royale). In effect, the Hunger Games is an example of a good idea but bad execution. Far more attention is spent on the substance than on the actual importance of a solid storyline. It’s difficult to find anything redeeming in the Hunger Games. Even the fact with that the film is based on the first book in a trilogy isn’t enough to make me want to come back. I was just glad for the film to be over. A length of 2 and a half hours is just too long. The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises did it right by having a long film length but having a strong storyline running throughout. As the end credits rolled, I knew that I wouldn’t be back for any of the sequels.
I would call this film the worst of the year but fortunately for the Hunger Games it came out at the same time as the film Ted. Ted is infinitely the far worse film, not only for its insulting storyline but also because it’s a film “written” by Seth MacFarlane. I used quote labels there not to imply that MacFarlane didn’t write the film. But that MacFarlane is simply incapable of writing anything at all. The man is an insult to any aspiring writer or more importantly comedy writer. So if I was going to say anything positive about the Hunger Games, it would probably be “well, at least it isn’t Ted.”