Review: The Hunger Games
What We ThoughtGenre: Action, Drama
What We Liked :Accurate and spectacular recreation of the novel Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss
What We Disliked:Toned down for mass audience Character development missing
The Hunger Games hits all the senses with an intriguing love-triangle and enough kid decapitation for everyone.
Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor.
The Hunger Games is the latest young adult novel series to see a big screen adaptation. Distributor Lionsgate is certainly hoping that they have another Twilight saga on their hands, but The Hunger Games has to the ability to be something more. The first film in the series has made its début this weekend and hits all the senses with an intriguing love-triangle and enough kid decapitation to go around.
Based on the hit series by Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games follows young Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and her journey through the deadly Hunger Games. Since the beginning of the rebellion two children from every district, male and female, must be chosen to fight to the death. Katniss and her childhood friend Gale (Liam Hemsworth) might be safe this time, but Katniss’s sister, Primrose, isn’t as lucky. In order to free her sister from this deathly burden, Katniss volunteers to be the tribute from district 12.
The other unlucky soul to join her from district 12 is Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson). His not so secret crush on Katniss proves to be a selling point towards their survival. They must impress the patrons of the all-mighty capital to receive rations during the Hunger Games. The romance of the star-crossed lovers of district 12 plays into the hearts and minds of everyone and may help them outlast the other combatants.
Jennifer Lawrence carries the entire film on her back. Her early role in Winter’s Bone was the perfect practice for the role of Katniss. Nurturing and tough, Katniss knows what she must do and how to get it done. Move goers don’t often get a female lead that can hold her own with the boys, but Katniss can take on anyone.
The rest of the cast for The Hunger Games is packed to the rafters with superb supporting roles. The most notable standouts are the eccentric television host Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci) and the mentor for Katniss and Peeta, Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson). Not all the roles are winners though. Elizabeth Banks is unrecognizable as Effie Trinket and just seems lost in the constant costume change and blank stares.
All movies lose a little something on their way from book to film. The Hunger Games will probably be more notable for how much they were able to keep. The only problem is that they are making a Hollywood movie for the masses to enjoy. There are going to be lots of scenes of kids killing kids in this movie. The solution it seems to make every violent action a quick-cut, so that at most times the action gets lost. It’s an elegant solution to the problem, but it sugar coats the main issue of children killing each other.
The quick cuts weren’t the only camera issue that were prevalent in The Hunger Games. There is a time and a place for hand-cam shots, but director Gary Ross and his team love them. Most of the time spent in District 12 is just a blur as the camera moves all over the place, never letting the audience get a feel for the terrible living conditions.
For the most part, The Hunger Games is a successful adaptation of a young adult novel. The plot and pacing of the original novel were so tight, it’s great they were able to fit in as much as they did. It might be easy to say The Hunger Games is a mix between Battle Royale and The Truman Show, but here its made consumable for everyone. The plot should keep most viewers glued to their seats and Katniss is one of the best female action heroes in a long-time. Fans of the series should be more than satisfied with The Hunger Games.