Reviewing The Starving Games won’t take very long, so leave your coat and shoes on.
This halfhearted send-up to The Hunger Games has been pieced, glued, taped, and mashed together by infamous spoofmeisters Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. It crawls and wheezes to feature length, yet only has enough material to fund a commercial bumper on the MTV Movie Awards – even that is pushing it.
Friedberg and Seltzer have never hit a home run or have even stolen second base. To take the metaphor more literally, if you gave these guys a chance to bunt an easy pitch, they would take the baseball in the face in hopes that it would entertain a pea-brained demographic. That gives you an idea of the level of intellect the filmmakers dwell at, and nothing changes with The Starving Games.
I once gave Friedberg and Seltzer unenthused props for consistency with their Twilight spoof, Vampires Suck. I had to give credit where credit was due, even if my hands started burning as I typed the words. The Starving Games zones in on the first film in the highly successful Hunger Games series, but fails to stay on target. The limp screenplay mindlessly follows the same path The Hunger Games mapped out, but the directorial duo are embarrassingly eager to throw in random appearances from other movies, imitate sporting events, or hit something.
If Friedberg and Seltzer had stopped to think when they were plunking out this measly script, they could’ve reworked their spoofs about how over-saturated televised sports coverage can be. My hands are tingling. There’s constant banter and forced chemistry between sportscasters that could’ve evolved. And, those on-site reporters always look so amused by the barbaric contact. My keyboard is heating up. A wasted halftime show has sizzling cheerleaders dancing lewdly as audiences cheer and ogle, and merchandise picturing the heroine is flagrantly peddled and exploited. There was, dare I say, potential here. Is someone burning dinner?
The keyword here is: cheap. In the most brazen way, the filmmakers have shown that they will somehow scrounge up money and actors to hop on a bandwagon in order to cash in on a hot craze. Their shallow aspirations haven’t grown since Meet the Spartans, a film of theirs that milked 300 by making the same imbecilic jokes over and over again.
Movie goers have come to expect ignorant jokes, bargain bin special effects, and obnoxious repetition from Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. However, it looks as if things can get worse. They manhandle this violent, female driven franchise and hit the lowest hanging fruit possible. They crunch every physical gag possible, and smash them into the ground. They take women and humiliate them, and men are either presented as stupid or gay. Personally and unfortunately, I don’t think the filmmakers see a line separating the two personalities.
The Starving Games is a terrible movie of undignified proportions. The fact that this film and their “girl power” spoof Best Night Ever were released back-to-back tells me these two need straitjackets and 24-hour supervision.