The Hunger Games movie review!!!
The long-awaited adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ book — perhaps the most brazenly subversive Young Adult Novel ever written — has finally been unleashed.
In a post-apocalyptic future, what remains of North America is now known as Panem, a nation consisting of 12 districts (impoverished and filthy..where I live now is no longer on the map-we’re underwater-I’d like to think I would have been smart enough to swim north..lol) and the central Capitol (a kind of modern-day World of Oz).
As punishment for an earlier coup — and as a reminder of its complete and total dominion — the Capitol demands one boy and one girl from each District between the ages of 12 and 18 be chosen by random lottery to participate in the annual event known as The Hunger Games. Now in its 74th edition, the televised tournament (which is required viewing for everyone in Panem, like those mandatory trainings that we all have to do at work) consists of an arena filled with technologically controlled deadly evils and other teens trying to hunt you down and kill you, at the end of which there will be only one “Tribute” left standing. They must kill to survive.
Jennifer Lawrence plays Katniss Everdeen, the female Tribute from District 12 (a coal-mining wasteland of what used to be Appalachia), 16-year-old who volunteered for the Games in place of her 12-year-old sister, who was chosen in the lottery. She is sent to the Capitol, where she is presented to everyone as the girl on fire who sacrifices her life for her sister. She is dressed in some amazing costumes by her personal stylist, Cinna (I think there should have been more of Lenny Kravitz). I was very surprised at how great they did with the costumes. The book had such elaborate descriptions and I was thinking I would be disappointed, but that was so far from the truth. The on-air pre-Games interviewer and commentator to the games, smarmy Caesar Flickerman (an amusing Stanley Tucci) gave just the right amount of humor exactly where needed. This being based on a Young Adult book, there’s a little romance going on, too — Katniss’ male counterpart, Peeta (Josh Hutcherson who won me over a long time ago in the Bridge to Terrabithia), carries a torch for the girl who is now technically his enemy, whilst the brawny Gale (Liam Hemsworth, Miley Cyrus’ real life boyfriend) completes the love triangle as the beau left back home.
After Katniss and Peeta are mentored by Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson), the only past winner of the Hunger Games from District 12 who’s now succumbed to drink and cynicism, they’re off to the Games, where the 24 Tributes proceed to kill each other off, watched over by the tyrannical President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and head “Game-Maker” Seneca Crane (Wes Bentley, sporting art-directed facial hair that’s pretty cool). Katniss, after 16 years of struggling to survive in the harsh living conditions of District 12, has become quite the skilled archer. She soon realizes that there’s no way to truly “win” such an insane endeavor, prompting her to embark on a secret pact with Haymitch to play the love stricken female to gain sponsors and gifts. She does her best to save Peeta, and beat the system at its own Game.
The film is fast-paced without seeming rushed and is visually much more impressive than the cheap-looking Twilight movies (the franchise to which this is inevitably being compared). I did get a little aggravated with the jumpy fast-moving camera, but I understand that it was being portrayed from Katniss’ view at times. Lawrence and Hutcherson were absolutely phenomenal in their roles. There was no over acting or overly exaggerated facial expressions, like all of the other younger actors seem to fall victim to (I wonder if the others go through the same torture type class before they take part in a film). And Elizabeth Banks did a great job as Effie Trinket, a devil-woman thinly disguised as a clown who serves as the “escort” of the District 12 tributes, but she was a distraction, but I was never a fan of her fake character even in the book; it was not until she portrayed some emotion later in the series that I thought of her as human.
This movie is going to make a ton of money and sell a lot of T-shirts (I already have mine). The violence was not overly emphasized, the romance was just right, the actors gave the best performances I have seen in a movie for quite some time now, and the costumes were great. Having read the books first, I already had an attachment to the characters and the story lines, so the little inconsistencies and left out scenes were noticed, but it was nothing that changed the overall “feeling” or theme. It is a movie that I will see again and would recommend to anyone who read the book and loved it, to see it. A few people told me they were afraid that the movie would ruin it, but that is definitely not the case here. I can’t wait to see it again.
There was just enough drama, action, and romance. I was teary eyed a couple of times through the movie, but that is expected of me, I am quite emotional at times. A-MA-ZING!!!!