Sunday, March 25, 2012


Review: The Hunger Games
4 stars (out of 5)
By R. Kurt Osenlund

Dystopian revolution is at the heart of Suzanne Collins's Hunger Games trilogy, which imagines a futuristic, postwar North America at the mercy of an iron-fisted empire. But deeper still is mandatory adolescent homicide, a plainspoken, horrifying bloodsport that, in the first installment especially, lays down eerie and deeply powerful stakes. For those who aren't hip to the story (or, given the incessant chatter, simply aren't hip), the titular games are an annual, televised form of punishment, wherein the scattered "districts" who once rebelled are reminded to fall in line by watching 24 of their children fight to the death until only one remains. No matter how Collins chose to develop her saga, she licked half the battle with her continually unsettling crux, which provides a firm foundation made of heady dramatic gold. The Hunger Games, whose script was co-penned by Collins, Billy Ray, and director Gary Ross, repeatedly tests the disquiet of kiddie-carnage awareness, proving its awesome influence again and again.

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