|The Hunger Games (2012) Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence)|
The Hunger Games books are a global phenomenon. Which is amazing considering the subject matter. People are buying the books based on the movie trailer alone. I've never read them, mainly because I can't handle stories about kids dying. I still haven't read "The Lord of the Flies" all the way through.
The Hunger Games movie is based on the novel of the same name by Suzanne Collins. The story takes place in a dystopian post-apocalyptic future in the nation of Panem. After an uprising of "The Districts" against "The Colony" the 12 districts are required to provide twelve boys and twelve girls to fight in "The Hunger Games." The televised annual event requires the teens, called "tributes," to fight to the death until there is one remaining victor. The hero, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), volunteers to take her younger sister's place in the games for District 12. Joined by her district's male tribute Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), Katniss travels to the Capitol and trains for the Games under the guidance of former winner Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson).
The Hunger Games is rated PG-13 for "intense violent thematic material and disturbing images - all involving teens" according to the MPAA. It is pretty intense although I found myself distanced from a lot of the violence thanks to Director Gary Ross' directing style. Some of the more brutal scenes were masked by cinematographer Tom Stern quick cuts and shaking cameras. He gave a pulse pounding feel to even the most mundane scenes. Battles between the contestants were tense and the forest setting really added to the tension.
Katniss Everdeen is a great character and I fell in love with her easily. She's smart, tough and capable. A great female role model. Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) is a very likeable character and his insecurities really moved me as the games changed him for the better.
But it was hard to connect with the other contestants aside from the District one and two tributes. I often lost track of exactly how many died, and the deaths didn't have much meaning. Just a scream and a cannon shot. In a way this was good. I don't think I could have handled it otherwise.
Secondary characters like the conniving President Snow (Donald Sutherland), the over-enthusiastic host Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci), the rebellious stylist Cinna (Lenny Kravitz), the desperate show runner Flavius (Nelson Ascencio) and the impossibly happy Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) all round out the cast.
The Hunger Games is a fun movie with lots of layers. I can see why the books and movie are popular. I'm looking forward to the sequel. I have no interest in reading the books though.
3 1/2 Stars (Good, Should watch at least once)
What do you think of The Hunger Games? Have you seen the movie or read the books?
[Image Source: HungerGamesINA]
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