At this point among filmdom (or whatever you choose call it film planet, film world, film committee, etc.) it’s common knowledge to avoid anything by the duo of Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg. These two greatest contribution to cinema have always the years they didn’t release a film. Unfortunately at this point in these the duo along with the people giving them jobs refuse to use their brains make a competent comedy.
The Starving Game is about Kantmiss Evershot fighting for her life in the 75th annual Starving Games. Like the duo previous films its plagues with the same issues; outdated film references, no comedic consequences, no pacing, non existence plot, absent of characters, to stupid to make fun of, beating a dead horse with every joke, and wasting the audience time. That’s the whole film in a nutshell, but where it fails the most is being a basic parody of “The Hunger Games”. It does not understand the definition of the word parody. That would have been asking to much from the writers who predict Lady Gaga will become president in the future. Instead of poking fun the film “shaky cam” by simply having a film crew capturing the action why not make a semi-political allegory on the Hollywood system downgrading intellectual properties. Then again, asking for actual minimal effort from the writers that only use “The Expendables” and “The Avengers” as throwaway gags instead of actual participants is a bit too much to expect. Now that I think about it that would have been a whole lot better, but who am I to judge the brilliance of movie where Kantmiss missing Peter as a giant cake next to her in the middle of the woods. Well to the writers credit they did copy the stupidity of that scene from the actual movie…though that’s not a good thing either since it had no punch line in its delivery. Much like the film structure it seems my brains cells were not present in this paragraph.
Narratively how does it all play out? If you seen “The Hunger Games” try to imagine the same plot points only brain dead slowly killing your brain cells being filled with unfunny overused jokes. Kantmiss offers herself to participate in the Starving Games (although everyone looks well fed, another miss point to satirize), Kantmiss faking her romance with Peter, underdeveloped little girl who helps Kantmiss gets kicked to death (let that sink in), underdeveloped romance, Kantmiss and Peter in a standoff finale. Talk about being uncreative stealing directly from the source material this duo is “satirizing”. I will admit this film did make me laugh one time with a fake commercial for a hamburger (a mixture of pizza, ice cream, buns, vegetables, and other things). However, that joke is soon forgotten when M.I.A. appearce play the earrape known as “Sexy and I Know It” and the I don’t understand humanity anymore popularity of Gangnam Style being killed off. Not that these musical references (including Taylor Swift) have no comedic purpose other than being completely superficial to the film just like its creation. Filled with incoherent sight gags, fart jokes, pointless pop culture references, and anything you could imagine from a duo set on destroying any fiber of humor. At least the acting talent despite being given awful material are okay. Diedrich Bader, bless him, who despite the godawful material he’s given, still commits to his every line. Likewise, star Maiara Walsh has brief glimpses of talent, but they’re usually spoiled a few seconds later by whatever cheap trick the movie has her doing next (like bird poop being thrown at her).
The Starving Game like it title will suggest leaves it does not fill its audience stomach for comedy. Saying this is for the lowest common denominator is an insult to the lowest common denominator. Even at under 83 minutes it fails to have enough material to support itself let alone entertain an audience. In vein of a bad rehashed sequel the duo rinse and repeats every mistakes they committed unable to comprehend the basics of how comedy works.