Thoughts: One of the most hyped movies of the year, The Hunger Games. It is based on the popular novel of the same, which I have not read. I was skeptical about the movie but I did have somewhat high expectations for the movie.
The Hunger Games started slowly, which I expected before watching it, and took an hour before the movie actually got going. Although it did not seem to explain quite enough to the audience as it should have, for example: the sponsors. The visual style and costumes of "The Capital" was very weird, hard to look at and laughably ridiculous, at times during the movie. Despite probably being in the book, the film maker should have toned it down.
The main character Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence, was likable and overall a good heroine.
The Hunger Games is often cited as having strong thematic subtext and social commentary, which it did have, but it was not as strong as was said. Also some criticize the book and movie for being overly violent because basically kids (although many of the actors are older than the characters they play) were killing each other and the "brutality" of the content. Since this is entirely fictional, I do not see the problem unless the sight of blood bothers you. The movie does have some surprising amount of blood for a PG-13 movie, which is good. However, due to the extreme use of shaky cam during the action scene, it cuts always before much real violence is actually shown but it also makes the action scenes hard to follow and poorly executed.
Also there were parts of the movie that were very good and I was thinking "if the character did (insert idea) this could become great." but never continued getting better. At times the characters made very dumb choices, which can become very annoying and some of the movie is overly dramatic. I know that the characters are teenagers, but they are not dumb characters. The romance in the movie was not done well, mostly because Josh Hutcherson as Peeta did not give a very good performance to match Jennifer Lawrence's great performance.
The question that is often asked is The Hunger Games the next Harry Potter? In some ways it is, in that the first movie made a ton of money because of the popularity of the book and the hype not necessarily the quality of the movie. However, I doubt that the series will reach the heights of Harry Potter, since the characters are not as interesting and I saw more potential in Harry Potter, which it did live up to in the later movies.
Directed by: Gray Ross
Genre:Sci-Fi, Action Thriller,
Release Date: March 23, 2012
Running Time: 142 minutes
MMPA rating: PG-13
The Good: Good concept, Great performance by Jennifer Lawrence,
The Bad: Slow first half, Extreme over use of shaky cam, Anticlimactic ending,
Plot: The following plot summary is copied from Wikipedia.com.
The nation of Panem, formed from a post-apocalyptic North America, consists of a wealthy Capitol and twelve poorer surrounding districts. As a punishment for a previous rebellion against the Capitol by the districts, one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 from each district are selected by an annual lottery (known as the "Reaping") to participate in the Hunger Games. The participants (or "tributes") of the Hunger Games must fight to the death in an arena controlled by the Capitol until only one remains alive; the victor is rewarded with fame and wealth. Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year-old girl from District 12, volunteers for the 74th Annual Hunger Games, to take the place of her younger sister Primrose, who was selected by the lottery. Peeta Mellark, a baker's son who once gave Katniss bread when her family was starving, was also selected.
Katniss and Peeta are taken to the Capitol, where their drunken mentor, former Games victor Haymitch Abernathy, instructs them to watch and learn the talents of the other tributes, especially the "Careers", who have been trained from birth to compete in the Games. During a pre-Games interview with TV personality Caesar Flickerman, Peeta unexpectedly reveals his love for Katniss. She is initially outraged, believing it to be a ploy to gain audience support, as "sponsors" may provide in-Games gifts of food, medicine, and tools.
Watch the movie to see what happens next.
Plot: 7.5/10- The concept of battling to the end similar to the Roman Gladiators in history, like one of my favorite movies Gladiator. However, the pacing was very slow in the first half and the parts in the "Capital" really dragged. The second have was much better but it still could have been. Also the aspects I noted in the "Thoughts" section of the review.
Action: 7.5/10- Although, there is some action the movie, it could have been executed so much better. There is a surprising amount of violence for a PG-13, however I wish could have showed a little more of the deaths on-screen and just tone down the violence slightly if they wanted to keep the PG-13 rating.
Acting: 7.7/10- Jennifer Lawrence performance in the lead role was great. I already liked her in X-Men: First Class and she did not disappoint in The Hunger Games. By far the weakest actor in the movie was Josh Hutcherson, while he was not bad; his did standout as being the weakest of the cast. Woody Harrelson was good and the other cast members were average at best.
Special effects: 7.6/10- Some of the effects looked very good, and fire is one of the hardest CGI effects but some of the fire effects still looked unrealistic. Also the CGI creature was obviously fake, yet it was could have been a little better.
Soundtrack: 7.7/10- During some scenes there were no music, which made an unnecessary tone to the movie. However, there are a few very good tracks that remind me of The Lord of the Rings music.
Comedy: 6.0/10- There were occasional humor, mostly from Woody Harrelson's character Haymitch.
Would I Watch This Again: Maybe sometime before watching the next installments of the franchise.
Overall: 7.3/10- Overall The Hunger Games is a good mostly well made movie, that had the potential to be great but never came close to meeting the hype.
Closing comments: Fans of the book would probably enjoy the movie much more, however if you have not read the book the movie is sometimes lacking.
Recommended for: Sci-Fi fans, Thriller fans,
The Hunger Games had a lot of potential but never live up to it.
Note: You have previously read my friend's guest review of the movie from a fan's prospective, which you can click here to read.
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