The Hunger Games Reviews
In the city of Panem lies 12 standing districts. Years ago, these districts rebelled against the nation's capital and when "peace" finally ensued, a protocol was placed to remind people where they belong. Thus, The Hunger Games was born. Each year, each district must send one young girl and boy to fight to the death with 22 other tributes. Except, this year, when Katniss Everdeen volunteers in place of her younger sister, it will lead to a major change of events that few can foresee.
This is one of the rare cases where I actually read the novel before I watched the film and in this case, the movie was no where as good as its publication. It's disappointing in the aspect that it's just no where as good as its source material, but as a stand alone movie, it's a solid film. It's not a great film, but a solid film.
The thing I like most about this movie is the dystopian setting and the overall plot. It's a complicated and darker plot at its core, but it can also be viewed as a mindless, entertaining plot for those seeking mindless violence. However, having viewed this movie on multiple occasions, I'm still able to garner the sense of desperation and darkness in this film, which is definitely a big plus. They do a great job of creating this ugly world where this horrible event actually takes place and I love the overall atmosphere that this movie thrusts you into.
Although I'm not floored by Jennifer Lawrence like the rest of the world is, I still think she's a great actress. She has so many different franchises under her name and she's been a big part of so many great films. She really did a great job solidifying her name as the face of the series through her performance. I think she's the perfect actress for the character. I've also always liked Josh Hutcherson, as I still feel like he's an up and coming actor. I feel like in today's world, he's a very underrated actor who also brought out the likable personality of his character. Woody Harrelson also played his part real nicely and for the most part, the cast was fine. There were some iffy spots when it came to certain tributes in the games, but other than that, the performances are all around solid.
One thing I didn't really like was the camera work and the pacing of this film. They often resorted to shaky cam, especially in actions scenes, and it became overused and nauseous rather than stylistic. It might've been a way to desensitize the violence, but it was more ugly than pretty. The pacing also felt really choppy too. I guess this is coming from someone who enjoyed the book a lot but either way, it was clear how much content they left out, leaving the events to feel unevenly paced. It never felt like their was a flow from scene to scene and it made everything feel out of place. It just doesn't feel like this movie had enough depth. For example, (spoilers) the finale involving the dogs had a much darker twist on it in the book, but here, it was just boring CGI meant to spook our characters.
Although there were some attempts to make this more age appropriate, I still like that this adaptation wasn't too afraid to explore bigger pictures and darker moments. There was a scene that I absolutely loved in the film (involving District 11, no spoilers) and it was moments like those that signified how big this picture actually is. Although kids might not understand some of the deeper messages here, it really helps this movie shine and stand out amongst other YA adaptation films.
In the end, I definitely didn't love this movie, but I still enjoyed it. It's definitely not on par with the novel but as a film, it does a good job of relaying a dark story with some great performances.
Resonant Line: "Katniss Everdeen: Thank you for your consideration."