The Starving Games is the next installment in a long line of parody movies created by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. If you enjoy dumb-fun movies like Vampires Suck, Meet the Spartans, Epic Movie, and Date Movie then you are most likely going to enjoy this one too. Maiara Walsh (a stunning look-alike for Jennifer Lawrence) plays Kantmiss Evershot who, constrained by the plot of The Hunger Games, takes the place of her younger sister in the 75 annual Starving Games. If she survives she comes home with an old ham, a coupon for a foot long sub at a six-inch price, and a partially-eaten pickle.
The Staving Games does its best to recreate most of the major moments from The Hunger Games while putting its own unique twist on things with all sorts of pop-culture references and cameos from characters in other movies like the Expendables, Avengers, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Avatar, and Pulp Fiction just to name a fraction. There are numerous sight gags for Nike, Apple, Angry Birds, and an ongoing interaction with a slightly annoyed ghetto version of Siri.
The movie is only 83 minutes so the pacing is fast and frantic as the script bounces quickly through the various plot points telling as many jokes as it can fit in. They managed to get some amazing look-alikes for most of the characters, and there were some surprisingly decent effects and some nice camera work. While I typically only review Blu-ray, The Starving Games is only available on standard DVD, but it looked pretty good for the format even if some of the special effects were pretty lame – although that could be intentional. Even the Dolby Digital sound mix did an impressive job.
Sadly, the bottom line is that the movie is short (much like this review), and with only a brief Behind the Scenes featurette that can easily be overlooked I’d have to say this movie is a tough sell, even at $13, which is the current price at Wal-Mart. Don’t get me wrong – you’ll have a great time watching it, but it’s not a movie you’ll likely watch over and over, so it can easily wait for Netflix, Redbox, or some other cheaper digital alternative.
I wish there was more to say, but this is basically 80 minutes of visual sight gags and zingers wrapped up in a Hunger Games wrapper. If you are a fan of the Hunger Games movies or any of the other parody films Jason and Aaron have made then you probably…ahem…”can’t miss” with this one.