Directed by Gary RossAction, Adventure : Rated PG-13
May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor.
Gary Ross does a fantastic job bringing the story of Katniss Everdeen ("The Girl on Fire") to life in Hunger Games. For once, the storytelling aspects of a book-to-movie adaptation did not rob us completely of the author's original work. If you haven't read the books, you will certainly want to after seeing this. And to think, with two more movies sure to follow, we've only just begun.
I'm the first to admit that the premise of the Hunger Games book series, written by Suzanne Collins, sounds archaic. Describing the books to someone feels a little weird because, basically, we're talking about kids being put in a winner-takes-all, kill-or-be-killed spectacle. That's what the Hunger Games is, a sport forced upon twelve, mostly impoverished, districts by the Capitol. Each district has to pay tribute to the Capitols "peacemaking" by selecting one male and female child to compete in a mandatory, televised game of adolescent carnage and survival. The concept is simple. Win, and your family is set for life. Lose, and, well, at least we were entertained by the show.
Nonetheless, Jennifer Lawrence is great for Katniss. The role demanded so much emotional content, and Katniss delivered in nearly every emotional and physical aspect. I hear she did much of her own stunts!
I think, in large part, the supporting roles were done well. Most notable is Rue (Amandla Stendberg), who does so much with so little. She grabs our heart as soon as she speaks, and never let's it go. I think she was done perfectly! As was Ceasar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci) and Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks). I'll probably take some flack for this, but I wasn't thrilled with Josh Hutcherson's Peeta, but he could grow on me. I also wasn't thrilled about the Woody Harrison's Haymitch either. And the jury's still out on Lenny Kravitz as Cinna, who is a much loved character from the book series. There were several character no shows, but understandably. The movie was just over 2 hours, and it felt like a long two hours. Superfluous character cameos would probably have drug down the story.
All in all. I really enjoyed the movie. Most of my criticisms come from my expectations from reading the book. Despite the points I've made, this is still one of the best onscreen book adaptations I've seen in a long time... yes, including the Harry Potters and Twilight series.
If you want to escape into a world with a little bit of everything: suspense, mystery, thrills, love and action... you can't go wrong with The Girl On Fire in Hunger Games!
My Rating: 4.0 out of 5
Already Seen it?
Have you read the book? What was your favorite part in the movie?
Other Hunger Games Awesomeness...
- Interview: Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth on The Hunger Games (screencrave.com)
- Review: The Hunger Games (thepeoplesmovies.com)
- The Hunger Games begin today: See the movie, read the books! (alleganylibrarycollections.wordpress.com)