The Starving Games (2013)


Friedberg and Seltzer’s “The Starving Games,” because we haven’t seen enough fucking jokes about “the most interesting man in the world”! The only advantage to watching “The Starving Games” (beyond Maiara Walsh) is that the Beavis and Butthead of comedy film making seem to be operating on a lower budget, thus the piss poor effects perfectly reflect the utterly piss poor comedy.

We’re now provided with piss poor composite shots of explosions, and an Angry birds cameo they obviously could only afford two dimensional animation for. As with all of Friedberg and Seltzer’s comedy spoofs, they just took some of their favorite internet memes and online videos, dropped it in a blender, and made a movie out of it. Basically “The Starving Games” is a ton of rapid fire, ancient jokes about pop culture that we’ve seen doled out a billion times since 2011, followed by a spoof of the very popular “The Hunger Games.” Both men are from the Seth McFarlane school of comedy, subscribing to the philosophy that if it’s familiar, even vaguely, it must be funny. Even if you don’t twist the familiarity for comedic effect.

The gags you probably haven’t seen featured in Buzzfeed or College Humor thirty times by now, are barely creative, as the directors jab at the most obvious elements of “The Hunger Games” characters. Katniss is now Kantmiss Evershot, and there’s a very drawn out moment involving the drawing of the lottery with gag names. There’s even a sight gag involving a laser pointer! How hilarious. Did we just warp back to 1998? Star Maiara Walsh (who seems pretty sharp with comic timing and is woefully misused) is Kantmiss, an archer who volunteers for the Starving games in place of her little sister. Much like “The Hunger Games” she fights for her life, hunts, and does battle with other teens.

The directors can never really figure out how to transform this all in to comedy, so they merely tack on as many unrelated and tired jokes during the almost beat by beat staging of “The Hunger Games.” So if you enjoyed the Gangnam Style, double rainbow video, annoying orange, Avatar, skittles, and basically anything else with the slightest relevance in pop culture since 2010, prepare to have it shoved down your throat in awkward and unfunny doses. And the idiocracy loves nut jokes, so both directors hand those out without even flinching. Thankfully, “The Starving Games” is only a merciful seventy one minutes in length, with twelve minutes of bloopers and closing credits to pad out the running time. It’s about the level of ineptitude you’d expect from Friedberg and Seltzer, both of whom thankfully seem to be running on empty with their stock in Hollywood.