In this post-apocalyptic science fiction, A young lady volunteers to take her younger sister's place in the Hunger Games; an annaul competition in which two teenagers from each of the twelve Districts of Panem are chosen at random to fight to the death.
Watching The Hunger Games, I was struck both by how slickly Ross hit his marks and how many opportunities he was missing to take the film to the next level -- to make it more shocking, lyrical, crazy, daring.
Has all the technical ingredients of a great (and even important) film, but sideswipes them in order to leave the audience feeling like that they have been abandoned in the wilderness of extreme cruelty.
It features a functioning creative imagination and lots of honest-to-goodness acting by its star, Jennifer Lawrence, who brings her usual toughness and emotional transparency to the archer-heroine Katniss.
The movie is oddly blithe about its central premise. How can this movie set up this monstrous society and this brutal game of genocide and expect us to not only cheer for someone to "win," but also hope she finds someone to kiss in the end?