The Hunger Games! Another review. You’re probably tired of these by now.

So I saw The Hunger Games awhile back. To begin, I read the book before seeing it, which undoubtedly helped in my enjoyment factor. I was more aware of things that others would not have been as immediately aware of: for example, they never really explained the three finger salute thing, among others. Nor do they explain who “Foxface” actually IS in the movie, but I digress.

In terms of science fiction, The Hunger Games is certainly an interesting specimen. The primary tropes that I saw when watching it were dystopian elements, elements of natural resource/food conservation (kinda like how ecology was everpresent in Dune), and just general futuristic technology and settings.

For dystopia, most of North America has undergone a holocaust (or so it seems). This resulted in “The Capitol” reigning in the outlying areas that revolted and controlling them afterwards with an iron fist. The twelve districts that previously revolted are awful, terrible places to live. The main one that viewers (and readers) get to see is District 12, which is where Katniss Everdeen (the main character) grows up. District 12 is a coal mining district, and so the audience gets to see everything in shambles: most people live in tiny little shacks, and nearly everyone struggles to get by. To further show the class disparity, agents from the capitol enforce life in these districts. These agents are armed with superpowerful weapons and have the capability to snatch people up with hovercrafts on demand.

Audiences get to see the element of resource conservation primarily when the actual games begin. The contestants start out empty handed upon their entry to the playing field. There is a cornucopia in the middle, but everyone has to fight to the death in order to acquire resources. This carries over into the rest of the arena: the contestants are abandoned, and thus they have to hunt for water, food and shelter wherever they go.

For the trademark trope of marvelous machines and technology, the audience primarily sees this during the scene at the capitol. Katniss undergoes a metamorphosis from a paltry girl from the coal mining district to “The Girl On Fire” as her designers and makeup artists. Likewise, the audience can see the “game makers” (those who run The Hunger Games) creating obstacles for the contestants in the form of spontaneous fireballs flying toward whatever they desire, complete control over the weather, and a freakish method of transforming the dead contestants into mutations.

The Hunger Games is first and foremost a “gladiator” esque movie, and so this takes the center stage. The science fiction elements are left aside and only used for context, but I think it works better this way. This allows the movie (and book) to capitalize on character development and story telling without going into too much detail about every machine and every happenstance that contributes to the futuristic setting.

2 Responses to “The Hunger Games! Another review. You’re probably tired of these by now.”

  1. Warren Rochelle says:

    Good review.

  2. Nico says:

    Nico Madden