Action/Drama: In a post-apocalyptic world, the teenage winner of a televised battle to the death competition must contend with the ramifications of that, as well as her nation's president's concern that she might have become the face of a budding revolution against him and his totalitarian government.
In the undetermined, post-apocalyptic future, the government has long controlled the populace of Panem by dividing them into twelve districts. Each year, there's a televised event known as the Hunger Games where one boy and one girl aged 12 to 18 are selected to compete in a battle to the death. It's designed as entertainment for the masses, but really to show the people that resistance against the government would be futile.
The latest winner was Katniss Everdeen (JENNIFER LAWRENCE) from District 12 who broke the rules by not killing the last competitor or "tribute," Peeta Mellark (JOSH HUTCHERSON), also from her district. While that won her a legion of fans among the everyday people, it doesn't sit well with President Coriolanus Snow (DONALD SUTHERLAND). He's concerned that she might become a figurehead for a resistance against him and thus wants the new head game maker, Plutarch Heavensbee (PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN), to do something about that.
While Katniss and Peeta are out on their cross-district victory tour along with their representative, Effie Trinket (ELIZABETH BANKS), and mentor and former Games winner Haymitch Abernathy (WOODY HARRELSON), Plutarch comes up with the idea that the 75th Hunger Games should be comprised of former winners as the next tributes, all to whittle any such potential symbolic leaders down to just one. Saying good-bye to her boyfriend, Gale Hawthorne (LIAM HEMSWORTH), and fitted with the latest fashion statement by stylist Cinna (LENNY KRAVITZ) for her appearance on Caesar Flickerman's (STANLEY TUCCI) TV show, Katniss and Peeta size up their competition.
While the motives of Finnick Odair (SAM CLAFLIN) seem unclear, Beetee (JEFFREY WRIGHT) and Wiress (AMANDA PLUMMER) come off as nice older nerds, while Mags (LYNN COHEN) is even higher up in age and about as unlikely a tribute as one could imagine. Among the remaining twenty competitors, there's Johanna Mason (JENA MALONE), a former Hunger Games winner who's clearly angry that her promised peaceful future has been taken away from her.
With all deposited into some tropical environ with a host of dangers beyond the other competitors, Katniss and Peeta do what they can to survive, including making some likely and unlikely alliances with others.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of the first film, that's a definite yes.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For intense sequences of violence and action, some frightening images, thematic elements, a suggestive situation and language.
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