the pReview Re-viewing of..
(IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED TO VIEW TRAILER BEFORE READING)
(warning: Contains nuts. ..and cursing.)
by Jeff Finck
The premise: In the not too distant future, in the aftermath of a global nuclear war, a unified state rises from the ashes called Panem. Panem stands in place of pretty much all of North America and consists of 13 districts. At one point in its history, the 13th district rebelled against the capital city, The Capitol. (Seriously). The rebellion was squashed and the 13th District was then wiped from existence. (Totally NOT District B-13.. or Final Fantasy VII.) In the wake of that disaster, the Capitol forces the remaining districts to participate in a competition that sees 1 boy and 1 girl from each district between the ages of 12 and 18, compete in The Hunger Games. The contestants are chosen via a lottery called "The Reaping." (No, NOT the movie starring Hilary Swank.. and certainly NOT the plot of The Lottery or Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.) This vicious contest brings the 24 contestants to a predetermined location to kill each other until only one remains. (Totally NOT Battle Royale or Survivor) This time, however, the games are changing and Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is the face of that change.. will she survive? Will her Hunger be strong enough to win the Games? Only 3 books and this movie will tell!
(The premise part B: Harry Potter, the Lord of the Rings, the Bourne Trilogy, the Chronicles of Narnia, and hell, even the Bond movies have all been wild successes.. now is the time to find the next big "Book to Movie" hit! God knows Percy Jackson and Ramona and Beezus ain't it.)
The trailer for this begins with a nice and rustic setting. It starts in with an awfully peaceful bit of scenery, like there wasn't even a global nuclear war oh so many years ago. Which I immediately call bullshit on, by the way.. I've played Fallout, I KNOW better. A young girl, who we will come to know as Katniss, disobeys an obviously malfunctioning High Voltage fence and scampers off into the woods to meet up with a lovable young lad we will come to know as Gale (Liam Hemsworth). (Someone did their research, bitch! Also.. I am pretty sure Katniss says his name later in the preview, so I didn't have to do too much research. Hah! Take that, Suzanne Collins!) Gale suggests running away together with Katniss, but she utterly rejects him and tells him that they should "just be friends." This of course hurts him so deeply that he woefully throws, what I assume is his heart, into the air. To which Katniss takes her bow and pierces it with her icy female arrows of womanly rejection. While all of this is going down, Martians invade and force the 2 "friends" to hide and wait for their ship to pass. When it passes, they run off to investigate the possible looming disaster.
In actuality, it is much worse than Martians invading. Marie Antoinette shows up to announce "the Reaping". All of the districts citizens gather around for the drawing of the names for the contestants in this year's Hunger Games. There is some trepidation, however, as Katniss' younger sister, Primrose, is eligible for the Games. Faster than Katniss can say, "There's nothing to worry about." there is totally something to worry about! Prim's name is plucked daintily out of the ball and Katniss is forced to eat her own words like a baby bird whose words were chewed up, and then spat back into her word-speaking mouth. As Prim is being dragged up to the stage to be delivered into certain death, Katniss jumps up like Rosa Parks and demands to be in the front of the "Let's kill children for entertainment" bus. Katniss is then taken to the stage in Primrose's place, where we meet another pivotal character in this plot: the Pie maker's son, Peeta Gabriel (Josh Hutcherson). I assume his last name is Gabriel.. only because I really want him to use a sledgehammer in the Games.. Also, I want this joke to work. Shut up. This joke was funny.
In the next scene, Gale tries to console Katniss by telling her that all she has to do is use a little razzle-dazzle, maybe show a little skin.. then everything will be all good. However, ever the pessimist, Katniss reminds Gale of that whole, pesky, "Only one can survive out of 24" thing. ..and that they're still JUST friends and that he needs to stop smothering her. With that, Disney's Monorail rushes everyone off to Hogwarts for some fight training montages. I hope there's a fucking montage!!! Every movie needs one, and the Hunger Games is NO exception! Sure enough, we get a montage right in the damn trailer! Not only are they going to learn survival, but they have to learn how to be presentable, and make impressions, and kill mannequins, and.. stuff. Oh, by the way, this montage is totally NOT from La Femme Nikita or The Point of No Return! So they transform Jennifer Lawrence from an adorable 16 year old innocent huntress into a slightly more adorable, beauty contestant.. (slash) huntress. And then Donald Sutherland shows up and explains the plot to us. Which is nice, because Donald Sutherland should explain EVERYTHING always.
What's great about the training sequences is that it looks like the Games really lucked out on finding a couple dozen teenagers who already know how to fuck shit up. I mean, you have spear hurling guy, sword man, bow staff boy, judo flip king, and Katniss.. who is clearly amazing at throwing arrows at things with a stringed piece of wood like a female Robin Hood. There are some sweet images of Wes Bentley running around as Seneca Crane with his beard perpetually looking like it's on fire.. or so he hopes. And even better than all of that is that Woody Harrelson shows up in a luxurious blonde wig as Haymitch, the trainer of child killers! (P.S. he still looks bat shit crazy, and totally fucking awesome as always.) The training comes to a close with a convo between Peeta and Katniss, in which Peeta discloses that if he dies, he still wants to be him. Which, I am pretty sure is some existential bullshit he's trying to use so he can get in some sex before dying hardcore in The Games. Katniss, being the master of disaster when it comes to men's hearts, shuts him down even harder and tells him to fuck right off because she's got more important things on her mind.. like not dying at all.. Whether she is HER or not.. whatever the fuck that means.
The trip to the end of the trailer shows some gripping moments between Katniss and Prim with the exchange of a locket, and then Katniss goes all Sammy Sosa with her whole district.. fingers to the air, and then onward to the Games themselves. The kids are ejected through tubes into the killing fields, and a countdown begins to destruction. As the countdown comes to an end, it's an all-out race for survival.. and backpacks. Then the logo bursts into flames. It has been said that Suzanne Collins actually drew the inspiration for this series from a reality show mixed with the Iraq war, and chucked in the Greek story of Theseus for good measure. What I find funny about all of the movies, TV shows, and manga this claims that it ISN'T, is that one thing is certain, we will all watch it. Hell, I may even go back and read the books.. hahahahahahahahahaha. Doubt it. Seriously, though.. this movie looks pretty fuckin' sweet!
Release Date: March 23, 2012