The Starving Games, 2013.
Written and Directed by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer.
Starring Maiara Walsh, Brant Daugherty, Alexandria Deberry, Cody Christian, Nick Gomez, Diedrich Bader, and Lauren Bowles.
Good morning hungry citizens of District 12! Don’t forget today is the Gathering Ceremony, so parents please bring your beloved children to the square for a random death lottery.” When lithe and fearless Kantmiss Evershot (a dead ringer for Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers to take part in the winner-takes-all STARVING GAMES, she takes on a whole lot more than we could ever have bargained for including… Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes and The Avengers.
Some people would possibly label me as biased here, crying out that I shouldn’t be allowed to review this film due to the fact that I wasn’t a big fan of The Hunger Games film, nor a fan of any of the Scary, Epic, Disaster Movie(s), to which I’d riposte, “Hush now!” I like a good comedy and I’m more than willing to give any comedy film a shot. Granted I’ve come across a fair few stinkers and I shudder when the name Adam Sandler appears, but at the same time I’ve had more surprises than I expected; this is why I was willing to take up the latest Friedberg and Seltzer effort.
As the review disc came with no age rating or synopsis I took to the BBFC to find its recommended age limit and it stands at a 12. As my daughters are around the twelve age bracket (just above and below) I allowed them to watch it with me. This however was a mistake; the girls themselves found it hilariously funny and I admit that some slapstick scenes were funny though in the first twenty minutes. However there was a fair bit of swearing being thrown around which at first I let pass, but it increased and I had to stop the film as I wouldn’t let the girls watch it. They were not impressed and I was clearly a bit of a miserable sod as I’d just ruined their Saturday night film; my offer of watching Star Trek VI instead wasn’t welcomed.
Later that evening I watched it alone and I found it amazingly poor. That is quite a basic description but it’s all I can give. The “humour” seems to have been created by typing out as many Pop Culture references as possible and asking the computer to randomly place them in amongst the overly milked sexual/gay/mental health related jokes. There is the occasional joke that made me laugh, but this doesn’t allow this film to be classed as comedy as I’ve chuckled more to CSI at 3 a.m. in the morning.
Another problem for me was the special effects. They’re awful. There is an App out for the iPhone where a person can record a scene and a rather dodgy looking SFC helicopter will crash or piano will fall within the scene. I believe that this app is what they’ve used for this film. I accept that The Starving Games probably doesn’t have the budget that meets the heady heights of Avatar but I have seen films that can make it look good for a small amount of cash, and if they can’t make it look good they don’t do it. This is what they should have done here.
I feel that this film could have been perfect for 10 year old children; if only they removed the “bad words” kids would be laughing their Haribo filled heads off, but they didn’t and this supposed comedy is made for grown-ups who certainly won’t be.
Flickering Myth Rating: Film ★ / Movie ★ ★