I’m a big fan of The Hunger Games—I couldn’t be a panelist on the weekly Fireside Chat podcast if I weren’t genuinely invested in Suzanne Collins‘ series and the movie adaptations. That said, I remember being a tiny bit let down when the first movie came out earlier this year. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it, but it certainly had its issues that ranked it just below the book. Yet at the time I couldn’t really put my finger on it. Here we had a movie that had a very cool, ’70s sci-fi feel, with fantastic stars in Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth.
But the folks at Screen Junkies take exception to several details in the movie, in the latest installment of their “Honest Trailers” series. It was really smart of them to wait until the DVD got released, so that the movie’s been out long enough to mitigate any knee-jerk backlash from star-eyed fans, and so the Screen Junkies editors could take advantage of as much footage as possible to make their point. In the trailer which you see above, they boil down the movie to its main points, some of which don’t match up. Like, how do the citizens of District 12 have to take out so much tesserae credit when every home is equipped with those futuristic projectors? And yes, the Capitol does look a ton like the planet Naboo from Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace!
Now, I can’t agree with their opinion that Liam should’ve played Peeta over Josh, but I did crack up when the narrator mocks all of the training sequences and Peeta’s camouflage. I guess it does seem a bit ridiculous to someone who didn’t read the books. And yeah, when the first trailer came out, my best friend and I would mock the way J. Law says “There’s twenty-four of us, Gale, only one comes out.” I love her, but that line always comes out awkward.
The best point Screen Junkies makes is that the movie cut out a bunch of important things, like Peeta’s amputation (seriously!) and the ambiguity Katniss feels in pretending to be in love with Peeta. I hope that this stuff gets more focus in Catching Fire… well, we’ve lost an opportunity with Peeta’s leg, but maybe the producers decided that a limp was just too much to add to Josh’s performance. Maybe Liam could’ve carried it better. Now we’ll never know.