Over the years the one genre that seems to struggle more than any is the spoof. With the exception of the early entries into the Scary Movie franchise, A Haunted House, and older hits like Naked Gun and Airplane there haven’t been too many that have worked. The latest, The Starving Games takes its stab at the current hit franchise while trying to blend in as much random pop culture references as they can, but can it possibly work?
The Starving Games follows Kantmiss Evershot who volunteers to take her manipulative younger sister's place in the seventy-fifth annual "Starving Games." In doing so, she must leave behind her smoldering just-a-friend Dale and team up with the geeky baker's son Peter Malarkey in a fight for her life. If she survives she could win an old ham, a coupon for a foot-long sub at a six-inch price, and a partially eaten pickle! Obviously going into these kinds of movies you already know what to expect, but sadly thanks to so many bad entries over the years most are likely to be hesitant. As expected this one isn’t great, but is much better than the last few that they have put out. Sure there are a ton of jokes that don’t work all that great and feel forced, but on the flip side they point out the ridiculous nature of the story and those films that did it first. One thing that makes this one work a little better is the lack of overly forced parodies. There are plenty of attacks on pop culture, but a lot of them they keep just quick and subtle enough that they don’t become a major part of the movie. Two of the sequences involving the Expendables and the Avengers are just forced into the film with no real cohesion, but sport some of the best impressions of the actors and some funny dialogue despite not fitting in.
This is far from a great parody but it isn’t quite the worst either. It’s focus on the main subject matter helps it too move a long a bit better, while the force necessity of adding pop culture tends to hurt it. Good or bad this is a genre that can’t really be reviewed fairly as it is a mockery of itself as well as other films and this sort of humor is subjective, so if you are a fan of this genre than step into the games and find out for yourself.