This Week

Why You Should Watch The Hunger Games

No it's not a Channel 5 reality weight-loss show. Here's five reasons to check out The Hunger Games. 

1Elizabeth Banks is in it
As well as looking exceptional in a pair of skimpy briefs (right), the American actress is also damn funny, as fans of 30 Rock — in which she has the unenviable task of being married to Alec Baldwin — will already know. A word of warning: in The Hunger Games she plays escort Effie Trinkett (no, not that kind of escort) and does not look so much like the image on the right as like Helena Bonham Carter channelling Marie Antoinette. She still works it though.

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2 It’s more badass than Twilight
OK fine, it’s not Die Hard whichever way you cut it, but the premise of The Hunger Games, based on Suzanne Collins’ zillion-selling young adult novels, is genuinely grisly: a dystopian future in which teenagers are groomed to fight in televised death matches.

3 Lenny Kravitz’s acting
Which is not the same thing as Lenny Kravitz’s singing. If you went to see Precious (presumably under duress), you’ll know his on-screen stuff is decent. He plays stylist Cinna who gets main girl fighter Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence, above) dolled up for her bloody debut.

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4 It’s a bit like Battle Royale
Or a lot like it, according to the blogosphere’s angry geek hordes (seriously, those guys should unionise). But Collins claimed never to have heard of Koushun Takami’s novel, or seen Kinji Fukasaku’s film, and surely the comparison only bodes well for The Hunger Games’ grit potential.

5 You’re outnumbered
As the ascendancy of Twilight goes to show, when teenage girls want something, they go for it like wasps after a jam sandwich. The sequel is already underway (it’s called Catching Fire, just FYI), so you may as well get your head round the whole thing now.

The Hunger Games is out on 23 March