Movie Review: The Hunger Games

When a book series gets big, we all know it’s only a matter of time before the author gets their sweet movie deal. The film has the chance of being a complete bomb, much like The Golden Compass and A Series of Unfortunate Events, both amazing novels that made not so amazing movies.  However, I must give credit to the great movie adapted books such as The Lord of the Rings, To Kill a Mockingbird, Harry Potter and many more that has left its writer swimming in money.

I recently went to the theatre last week to see the new film craze The Hunger Games that hit theaters March 23. I had read all three novels before watching this movie, and I really did enjoy them, so naturally I was excited for the movie to come out. To my surprise, the Hunger Games didn’t disappoint me. In fact, I really enjoyed the movie, and from the looks of things on Facebook, Twitter, and reviews, so has everyone else.

For those who don’t know, The Hunger Games follows main heroine Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), who volunteers in her sister’s place as a tribute in the Hunger Games. This post-apocalyptic world has the Capitol at its core, a dictatorship that controls the 12 districts around it. The Capitol lives in luxury, with eccentric fashions and futuristic technologies, while the districts remain poor and mostly starved.  Every year, each district must give both a man and a woman between ages 12 and 18 to fight with 24 other children in the Hunger Games, due to a rebellion made by the districts more than 70 years back.  The Hunger Games is treated like reality T.V. to the Capitol and forces the rest of the districts to watch the games.

Author Suzanne Collins actually worked with Director Gary Ross on the movie, and probably is the reason the first movie follows in nicely with the novel. Of course like all adaptions there are some points that are different or left out. Now, as someone who read the novels, a lot of Katniss’s observations were done in thoughts. Therein lies a challenge for a director who has to convey important plot points to his viewers by scenes. So, yes if you’re a hard core “everything must be the same” I will say right now that it isn’t. But it still worked well, just like it did in all seven of the blockbuster Harry Potter movies.

The movie wasn’t corny, and trust me, it could have been. But the only thing that really bugged me was the unfortunate PG-13 rating. Sorry to disappoint the gore lovers, but the violence is very lacking in this movie, and their ways of getting around it is quite frankly, silly. You’ll see a lot of bloody knives flying around and blood trails but never the act itself. The film’s attempt at keeping itself PG-13 was obvious and left a bad taste in my mouth along the way. Some of the more graphic deaths in the book were also changed to fit the rating, though the death of character Rue was kept the same. Personally, I think the violence was a part of the story and should have been included.

Though I wasn’t too hot on Josh Hutcherson playing Peeta, the cast chosen for this movie was spot on. There are a couple of big names in this movie that include Donald Sutherland as President Snow,  Woody Harrelson as Haymitch and rising star Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen. I loved the cast chosen for each character, and I think they each suited the character well, especially Donald Sutherland who will have a bigger role in the next movie ‘Catching Fire’. I’m really glad a quality acting team was put together for this film, and is probably part of the reason I enjoyed it.

Overall, go see it, or at least on DVD. It’s not amazing by any means but it’s definitely a good watch and I plan on seeing the next two in theatres as well.

Final Score: 8 out of 10

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