The Hunger Games films, which are based on Suzanne Collins’ massively popular book trilogy, managed to captivate audiences with its incredibly gripping story set in a dystopian world. In the world of The Hunger Games, a totalitarian government controls twelve distinct districts and requires them to offer two “tributes” every year who will be forced to fight to the death in a televised event called the Hunger Games.
We meet a diverse cast of characters throughout the franchise’s four-movie run. And while all of them are interesting in their own right, we feel that one gets a little too much attention. The character in question is Finnick Odair. Before you come at us with your pitchforks, or in this case tridents, we don’t doubt that Finnick is a great character.
However, overrated seems like an apt description considering his portrayal in the films. If you aren’t convinced, then we’ve got just the thing for you. Here are ten reasons why Finnick is an overrated character.
10 He Barely Affects the Overall Plot
Don’t get us wrong, Finnick is a pretty cool character. Finnick’s charm, swagger, and good looks make him an incredibly fun character to watch on screen. However, if you really think about it, there’s not much to him outside a couple of exciting moments and witty quips.
If you look at the big picture, Finnick rarely ever does anything to impact the story in a major way. Unlike the other characters, Finnick is at the mercy of whatever’s happening instead of trying to make things happen himself. For the most part, Finnick is reactive rather than proactive.
9 The Movie Overemphasizes His Good Looks
Finnick’s character is often defined by his physical attractiveness. It doesn’t help that the film also frequently highlights his appearance. While this may have been done on purpose in order to highlight how shallow the values of the Capitol are, this may have backfired as the films usually reduce Finnick to just another pretty face.
8 One Dimensional Wit
Finnick is one of the most fun characters in the film. He’s known for his wit and humor, which he exhibits through his many quips. However, his character is often reduced to this repetitive form of humor. And while it’s entertaining at first, it can become quite tiresome as it doesn’t really add any depth to the character.
7 Being “Cool” Isn’t Enough
As we’ve already mentioned, we don’t question that the character is portrayed in a cool way. However, that just isn’t enough to warrant how much attention he gets. Compared to characters like Katniss, there’s not much depth to Finnick’s character other than being pretty and cool, even though that depth is present in the books.
6 Overall Lack of Agency
Throughout the movies, Finnick rarely ever does anything out of his own volition. For the most part, he appears as a supporting character to Katniss, but he doesn’t really have a bigger role beyond that. This is because his character seems to lack agency and doesn’t really have a clear agenda beyond wanting to save Annie Cresta.
5 Cliché Motivations
Given the complex and grim world that’s featured in the films, Finnick’s motivations can seem a little shallow. While we’re sure that Finnick is against everything the Capitol stands for, it would be foolish to assume that he’s fighting for any other reason than to save Annie.
Now, it also doesn’t help that the relationship between the two characters is barely fleshed out in the films. Outside of how much Finnick loves Annie, we don’t know about their relationship. In comparison, the romantic development that takes place between Katniss and Peeta is nuanced. Because of this, it provides a more compelling emotional anchor for the story.
4 Seemingly Unearned Skills
No one’s really questioning how impressive Finnick is in combat. He’s a reliable ally that helps the rebels in deadly skirmishes against the Capitol. However, all of his skills in combat seem unearned. Unlike characters like Katniss and Peeta, whom audiences watch turn into skilled survivors due to their time in the games, Finnick just seems to know how to fight and is just naturally good at everything.
At the end of the day, Finnick’s prowess with a trident seems almost too convenient and isn’t really set up in any meaningful way. This issue can easily be fixed by fleshing out Finnick’s backstory in the movies. A spinoff exploring his time in the Hunger Games would surely be a great watch for fans of the series. Watching how Finnick struggled and overcame adversity in his own games will help in making him a more complete character.
3 Underdeveloped Backstory
Speaking of a spinoff series, most of the issues with Finnick’s character stem from his underdeveloped backstory. Now, this is hardly a problem with the books as the novels sufficiently explore Finnick’s tragic backstory. However, this just isn’t the case with the movies as we only get to know Finnick after he’s survived his time as tribute. By failing to allocate time to exploring Finnick’s backstory, it can be rather difficult to have an engaging and complete character.
2 Disconnected From District 4
Unlike the other tributes that we meet in the films, Finnick seems to be rather disconnected from District 4. Despite being from District 4, which is known for its fishing industry, Finnick’s connection to his home district is hardly explored in the movies. Finnick could have undoubtedly benefited from having a clearer connection to his district as it would have done wonders for overall world-building. This lack of exploration deprives audiences of a deeper understanding of his roots and the environment that helped shape the character.
1 Failure to Live Up to His Potential
The main reason why we think Finnick is overrated is because he doesn’t live up to his character’s full potential. Not only is Finnick incredibly skilled in combat, but he’s also one of the most charming characters in the movies. Given this, he could easily be in a position to lead the rebellion himself.
However, this isn’t what he ends up doing. Not only does he take a backseat to Katniss, but he also doesn’t really make any significant contributions to the fight against the Capitol.