The Hunger Games
What not to say: Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen and Josh Hutcherson’s Peeta Mellark both win The 74th Hunger Games, becoming the first pair of tributes to survive the annual ordeal. On the topic of Hunger Games-related words not to mention in the pub, the phrase “It’s a Battle Royale rip-off, basically” should be banned, if only because it may be the most worn-out, over-familiar, facile comment about one film ever made.
Considering that the movie was set up with a Twilight-style love triangle – though Liam Hemsworth’s Gale Hawthorne makes only the briefest of appearances – it would be a bitter pill for audiences to swallow if one of the lovers snuffed it before the first film's running time was up. In a clever piece of plotting from Suzanne Collins, Katniss and Josh wriggle out of the sudden reversal that two winners wouldn’t be allowed this year after assurances to the contrary by threatening to commit suicide together. With the world’s eyes on the two teenage serial killers, President Coriolanus Snow (Donald Sutherland) is forced to crown both of them winners, and everyone bar the resplendently bearded Seneca Crane (Wes Bentley) goes home to have metaphorical teacakes and lemonade.
Did we see it coming? If you read the book, yes. If you didn’t read the book, not so much. Unless you happened to be watching the film with a friend who had read the book, in which case you’d have had your suspicions from all the knowing looks and “You’ll see...” comments.
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