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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hunger Games movie review (no spoilers)

I read the first Hunger Games book a few months back, and really enjoyed it. Today, I saw the movie.

I thought it was pretty good, but not great. It REALLY needed another 20 minutes or so during the actual Games. Many characters that are quite important in the book (especially Rue and Cato), are barely shown in the movie, and give us little or no reason to care about them.

A big chunk of the movie was the lead-up to the actual Games. I understand there was a lot to get through, especially for people unfamiliar with the book, but it took too much time away from the actual premise of the movie. 

I will give the director solid props for conveying just how much the people were afraid of being selected to compete, and Jennifer Lawrence's scene (as Katniss) right before going up the tube was extremely well done. She's a fantastic actor.

In fact, almost all of the actors were great. The only one I thought was kinda average was Peeta, and I think that had more to do with his voice tone than anything. Still, he did a good job overall.

The main bad guy (Cato) in the book was not even much of a presence on screen. The knife girl did a better job showing that she was dangerous. The big black kid was probably on screen less than two minutes, and he was a major concern during the Games as well.

Again, Rue was REALLY not done well. I blame this on the editor. The actress did fine, but the movie just plain didn't show why she was so important to Katniss. Her character should have had at least five more minutes of screen time just to explain their bond.

The finishing scenes were decent, but the very end was ambiguous, at best, for anyone who hasn't read the book.

Overall, I give the movie a 3 out of 4. If you've read the book, it's probably a 3.5.


Anonymous said...

I have not read the books, but my wife and daughters did. They mention some of the very things you did; needing 20 - 30 more minutes, Cato, and Rue. What really killed it for me, again not having read the books, was the 'bouncing' camera and the improbability of the story line, though my wife and kids assure me that it is more plausible with the way the books elaborate on things.


Dan said...

The book is much better than the movie, but that's pretty normal. The reason for the Games is stated in the movie, but the book goes into more detail. It's an annual, never-ending punishment for the Districts since they rebelled and were defeated.

The Bane said...

I get why they have the Games, but it would seem, without going into spoiler land, that the government's course of action would have the exact opposite affect than what it does on people with modern mindsets.