Why am I bored?
That is a question that no-one wants to ask themselves in the cinema.
Unfortunately, it’s one I asked myself time and time again through the arduous 2 hours of Mockingjay Part 1, the most recent, and penultimate, instalment from The Hunger Games franchise.
As I stared through the screen in a daydream partly about my problems with the movie and partly about my plans for the following day, something struck me.
It was a piece of popcorn. I’m joking. It was the answer – Why I was bored:
The mis-judged love triangle.
In the series, our heroine Katniss has been jostling between two boys called Peeta and Gale. Basically, we are on a journey partly to decide who she wants to sleep with. Romance.
The source novels and the movies attempt to create a bristling love triangle, electric with lust, sexual tension and jealousy.
Instead, due to the positively uninspired performances by Josh Hutcherson (Peeta) and Liam Hemsworth (Gale), Katniss’ choice can be boiled down to chewing on wood or licking sand. Dull, repulsive, with not much to differentiate between.
This is entirely different for The Twilight Saga, a franchise which The Hunger Games is in direct opposition to in terms of demographic, which built its fan-frenzy on choosing Team Edward or Team Jacob.
Just like in The Hunger Games, the two men are of entirely different physical types. But unlike The Hunger Games, for all Twilight‘s flaws, it is actually engaging.
It would be unfair to criticise merely the performances of Peeta and Gale, as some of the blame must go to the casting of Hemsworth and Hutcherson, two men with arguable good looks but not an iota of charisma. In turn, you then must criticise the direction, but with 2 different Director’s spanning three whole movies, it’s probably not their fault the performances are tripe. They’ve probably tried all they can.
It’s a shame, because The Hunger Games is an entirely more adult and thematically interesting teen franchise than Twilight.
But that’s the problem – they are teen franchises, in which the most important thing is to get the love-story right. Because teens love a bit of sexual tension.