Am I the only person who checked out when…. [spoilers after the jump, obviously]

Finnick bit it? Everyone else is a useless jackass. Except Peeta, of course, but I don’t really enjoy when I have to watch Katniss throw herself away on him.

If you didn’t catch the sarcasm there…I can’t help you. I read the Hunger Games books, and mostly hated them. And I like Jennifer Lawrence, so that made me hate Katniss less, but there is no amount I could hate Katniss less that would make her an acceptable human being. She’s dense, and selfish, and two-timing, and lame. Sure, it’s great to have a woman be a hero of…stuff, but not if she is (of course) the hub of a dumb love triangle, and also…dense, and selfish, and two-timing, and lame. Katniss progresses from slightly altruistic and slightly dim to intensely self-involved and intensely moronic. And yeah, she has a hard time, but…Finnick leaves his wife and his unborn son to die for her, and Peeta loses his entire family and is tortured and brainwashed, and the list does not end there. And she never, ever gets it. She never realizes that it actually isn’t about her. Self-obsession is not charming, Katniss.

On the PLUS side: this movie is significantly better than the book. This is probably because the book read more or less like incompetent storyboarding. By monkeys. On speed. In the movie, at least, things progress in a linear, mostly logical fashion. The effects are good. Haymitch is amazing. The costume people carefully put Liam Hemsworth in catastrophically unflattering woollen 90s pyjamas to make Katniss’s final rejection of Gale less upsetting.

And then they give Josh Hutcherson a nice haircut so you feel okay about his future life. And that helps a little bit.

Stray observations:

  • So. You have to blend in as refugees, and your face is plastered on every billboard, and the person who is sending you on your way is an insane expert in make-up, and your plan is “wearing a hood”? Okay, idiots.
  • I was listening to the Killers’ “For Reasons Unknown” while writing this review. It is oddly fitting.
  • Natalie Dormer has control of her face and at no time looks like a drunk chipmunk. I am proud of her.

Director: Francis Lawrence
Rating: PG-13
Length: 137 minutes (slightly too long)
Score: 2/5

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