Critical Dissent: Debating Insurgent with Alexandra Donald

Insurgent, the first sequel of the dystopian young adult series that began with last year’s Divergent, hasn’t exactly been welcomed with open arms by the critical community. It’s currently sitting at 31% on Rotten Tomatoes, with widespread accusations that it’s little more than a cut-rate Hunger Games clone. I’m not entirely convinced by that argument,…

Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games - Mockingjay - Part 1 (2014)

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014)

Mockingjay – Part 1 is unsatisfactory not simply because it’s telling half a story, but because its ideas are given neither sufficient depth nor a sufficiently engaging narrative to wrap around them. Much like fellow threequel Matrix Revolutions, it trades the diverse visual palette of its predecessors for drab bunkers and ruins painted in endless…

The Hunger Games (2014)

The Fault in our (Movie) Stars – The Lack of Social Media in the Cinematic Medium

The Fault in our Stars is a Young Adult phenomenon, combining healthy box office receipts with a generally positive critical reception, but it’s yet another example of a mainstream movie that fails to engage with modern teenagers’ reality. Despite flaunting contemporary technological trappings – X-Boxes and iPhones (with increasingly popular texts-appearing-on-screen imagery) – The Fault…

The Running Man (1987)

The Running Man (1987)

It goes without saying that The Running Man, the Schwarzenegger sci-fi action film adapted from not-Stephen-King’s novel, is a prescient piece of work, predicting both terrible reality television (here more violent and with more game show trappings) and The Hunger Games. Except generally prescience goes hand-in-hand with coherence, and there’s little of that on offer…

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

Cinematic adaptations of popular young adult fantasy series may be guaranteed to rake in the profits, but they’re also guaranteed to bring in the same exact complaints from the fandom every damn time. Specifically, rabid fans of the original novels – whether it’s Twilight, Lord of the Rings or The Hunger Games – always take…