In 2012, moviegoers saw an abundance of science fiction, action and superhero flicks. Blockbusters like “The Hunger Games” and “Snow White and the Huntsman” were packed with action and tinged with supernatural elements.
“The Hunger Games” is based on Suzanne Collins’ novel about a dystopian future where children are forced to fight to the death. The movie holds up to the book very well and tells a disturbing story with a momentous plot. The dialogue did seem forced at points, but I blame that more on the original story than the lead actors. Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson are both convincing in their roles. Hutcherson is warm and charismatic as Peeta, and Lawrence is convincing as the unemotional survivor Katniss.
Even the comedies this year were tinged with fantasy. “Dark Shadows,” Johnny Depp and Tim Burton’s latest eccentric project, tries to pack several years of a supernatural television show into a two-hour movie. It has amusing moments but is a bit scattered. There are too many characters with different motivations to keep viewers interested in a particular one.
A massively anticipated film, “The Avengers,” did not disappoint. For such a fast-paced action film, it has a surprisingly focused storyline, and the menagerie of different superheroes is entertaining. Chris Hemsworth delivered one of the funniest lines in the movie when his evil brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), goes on a rampage, to which he responds: “He was adopted.” Another source of unexpected humor came from the interactions between Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man and Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk.
In comparison, I did not find “The Dark Knight Rises” as enjoyable. Like its predecessors, it is unnecessarily long. Throughout the movie I was wishing I could put subtitles on as I struggled to understand what supervillian Bane (Tom Hard) was saying through the radiator imbedded in his mouth. Christian Bale, however, is a good Batman as usual, and Anne Hathaway is great as Catwoman. It was refreshing to see her in a morally ambiguous and aggressive role, different from the sweeter, more innocent characters she usually plays.
At first look, “Brave” appeared to be another clichéd coming-of-age story but turned out to be creative and heartwarming. Merida is a headstrong Scottish princess with a talent for archery who dislikes the orders her more traditional mother pushes upon her. Fortunately, the movie doesn’t spend too much time discussing this as it’s a tired topic. “Brave” is more about family and learning to understand someone you may not always agree with. It’s a sweet movie and is truly entertaining for all ages, something Disney and Pixar always seem to accomplish.
In the same tough princess vein, “Snow White and The Huntsman” stars Kristen Stewart as a less traditional version of the famous princess. Stewart plays a different Snow White, one that fights in battle along with her men. Chris Hemsworth plays the gruff and emotionally conflicted huntsman, a character that hasn’t been given depth before. The movie is a unique take on a story that has been told many times. The ending twist is what really distinguishes it from other versions of the fairy tale.
One movie that was not a blockbuster, or fantasy based, is “Jeff, Who Lives at Home.” Jason Segal played a character that is familiar to him, a lovable slacker. Jeff is introspective and vulnerable, yet lazy, a contrast to his materialistic brother (Ed Helms). The movie is never as insightful as it means to be, but the dialogue is funny and Segal and Helms work well off each other.
Overall, fast-paced fantasy dominated 2012’s movie screens. There were many choices for escape whether your preference is fairy tales or superheroes.
Emily Coleman is a senior at Frontier High School.