The Hunger Games
I’m a big fan of “The Hunger Games.” That is, I read the books and was a fan before I heard they were making a movie. But when I saw the movie trailer, my hopes were immediately dashed. The sets looked cheesy, it was rated PG-13 (meaning none of the graphic violence we so enjoyed in the novels) and it had Woody Harrelson in it, so that immediately made it worse. I let myself be dragged to the cinema, with my expectations very, very low.
Surprisingly, it was actually very good.
While it wasn’t on par with the books, “The Hunger Games” actually has some good acting, a lot of great visuals, and stays pretty close to its source material. It did shave some parts off, but it was only stuff no one cared about in the first place.
For those of you not familiar with the story, “The Hunger Games” takes place in a dystopic world, in which every year 24 children, two from each district of a country, are forced to kill each other on live TV. These “Tributes” are usually dehumanized and filled with hatred, and have to use midevil weapons to slaughter their foes. Not very much unlike high-school, except we don’t get to be on television. And I’ll bet you they don’t make the tributes read “The Great Gatsby.”
We see a young girl, Prim, who is selected to fight in the games. Her sister, Katniss, takes her place, and gets sent off with a local baker named Peeta, to train for this blood bath. Their trainer, Haymitch (played by the surprisingly not terrible Woody Harrelson) begins to give them tips on how to survive, when he’s not stumbling about drunk. Katniss proves to be extremely gifted with a bow, and soon becomes a favorite to win the games. Peeta, however, is good at nothing except painting his arms green. Hey, I would bet on a kid who could do that! Then again, I also bet on a horse named “Pedigree Dog Food,” so that might not be a good indicator.
Peeta decides to go on national television, and proclaim his love for Katniss. This will get more people to vote for them and send them gifts, as everybody love some star-crossed lovers. While Katniss originally doesn’t like this idea, she slowly realizes that Peeta’s declaration might have more truth in it than she first thought. And that she might feel the same way. But only one person can live through the bloodbath to come. Who will win “The Hunger Games”
While I am rather annoyed they skipped some parts of Katniss’ history, and that some characters got less screen time than they deserved, “The Hunger Games” does a good job of portraying it’s source material (Unlike Harry Potter, which skipped half the book to make it’s 140 minute limit). Woody Harrelson revisits his “Cheers!” days, and plays the very dry humored boozer, and both Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson shine as Katniss and Peeta. The script was great. Some parts were scary, some were thrilling, some poignant, others sad. The only part that annoyed me was the editing. During the fight scenes, the camera would spin and shake, making it hard to tell what was going on. Personally, I think the camera guy was drunk. All in all, a very great film. 9/10.