Based on the first part of Suzanne Collins’s trilogy, the story takes place in the future where the state selects a boy and girl from the twelve districts who go on to compete in a live TV death match. Only one can be the victor.
Our heroine Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers to take her younger sister’s place in the games, and becomes the first ever volunteer from District 12, in Hunger Games history. Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) is the boy from District 12 selected, and he just so happens to have a long time crush on Katniss.
The supporting cast includes Stanley Tucci, Elizabeth Banks, Wes Bentley (who may have the daftest beard in recent memory) and Woody Harrelson as former victor Haymitch Abernathy. Donald Sutherland appears briefly as President Snow, it’s great casting all round but a real shame that none of the grown up parts are particularly long or used as effectively as possible.
The style of the film is at times quite jarring, the constant over movement of the camera doesn’t create the desired furious nature, and it only serves to take you out of the story. Right there are the faults out the way, overall I really enjoyed the movie and whilst it was at least 30 minutes too long it was a well-paced series starter.
Jennifer Lawrence has had a lucky couple of years, bursting onto our screens from nowhere in the mighty A Winter’s Bone she got her first taste of a blockbuster as Raven in last year’s X-Men: First Class. She brings a real believability to Katniss and helps to ground the audience with a strong but vulnerable performance.
As a newcomer to this series, I was somewhat confused by the neon Victorian fashion in a future world. I did feel like I was missing something that die hard fans of the book were enjoying, that said the screening was somewhat ruined by a group of loud teenage girls sitting behind us. They swooned at certain characters and talked about the book endlessly, I have started to think that you should have to sit a test before going to the cinema to prove you can be quite for at least two hours.
I have yet to read the book, but from my understanding it’s quite the bloody affair. Pitched somewhere between The Running Man and Battle Royale, the Hunger Games manages to carve out its own identity primarily due to strong performances and attention to character development for the main characters.
The seeds of the love triangle might be obvious from a mile off, which I’m assuming plays a vital role in the second book Catching Fire. The second film will be hitting our big screens before the end of next year, however director Gary Ross will not be returning.
The Hunger Games is a well-made and very well performed movie, newcomers will find it accessible and the longtime fans will either love it or hate. Based on its $400m and counting takings so far, I think it’s fair to say they love it.Pin It