Written by: Darren Camponi
Director: Gary Ross
Writer: Gary Ross/Suzanne Collins/Billy Ray
Producer: Nina Jacobson/Jon Kilik
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence/Josh Hutcherson/Liam Hemsworth/Woody Harrelson/Elizabeth Banks/Lenny Kravitz/Stanley Tucci/Donald Sutherland
BBFC Certification: 12
Duration: 142 minutes
I’ve quite recently been reading the books to The Hunger Games (currently reading Catching Fire, the second of the trilogy) and found myself totally engrossed in the books. The book has great action, a solid story and some good characters but it had me worried as to whether the movie will be like the book and I was very relieved to see that it stayed true to the book. In fact, I could go so far to say that this is probably one of the most loyal book-to-movie adaptations I have ever seen. The story is set in the future where the government have created a televised game called the Hunger Games. The Hunger Games is where the Capitol take 2 kids, one male and one female, from each District (12 Districts altogether so in total, 24 kids fighting) and pit them together and make them fight to the death until there’s one winner. The story is very good and clever in some parts and the build-up to the actual Hunger Games itself was great as we see our heroes, Katniss and Peeta, train for the event and start getting to know one another as well as preparing themselves for the worst. In some ways, I actually found this to be more entertaining and more involved than watching the actual Hunger Games itself purely because we were getting to know quite a bit about the characters to make you feel emotionally attached.
Katniss Everdeen is our hero as we see her volunteer herself as Tribute to the Hunger Games in place of her sister, Primrose. Alongside Katniss is the male Tribute, Peeta Mallark. Both of them are well-written characters and you feel quite a bit of emotion for them but unfortunately, the same can not be said for the other characters as you have absolutely no idea who they are nor do you know anything about them or even care. The script is well-written with some good dialogue and the story is the same although it does have a couple of moments where the story starts to slow down quite a bit but luckily enough, it picks up. The performances from the actors and actresses were great although in some areas, it could have been better. Jennifer Lawrence plays Katniss brilliantly as does Josh Hutcherson as Peeta, Woody Harrelson as Haymitch and Amandla Stenberg as Rue. However, I felt that The movie, you could say, is split into two. One hour is the build-up to the Hunger Games where it’s pretty much dialogue, character development and training sequences and the other hour is the event itself where it’s non-stop action. Both parts were brilliant and well done and didn’t disappoint whatsoever but I think that The Hunger Games would have been a lot better if they didn’t water it down to pass the film as a 12 and showed the action scenes in full and made the movie a 15 because it did let the film down a little bit. Overall, The Hunger Games is thoroughly entertaining and the people who loved the books will love the film more than the newcomers because those who have read the books will feel a lot more for the characters.
I have to say, I loved The Hunger Games. The book was brilliant and I enjoyed every page and the movie is equally as brilliant. There are a couple of faults that I have with the movie but the main problem was Rue and how little we saw of her. In the books, she was in it more than she was in the movie. In the movie, it felt like she was in it for five minutes and there was a lot more that happened between Katniss and Rue in the books. However, in the movie, even though the actress played Rue brilliantly, she wasn’t involved as much and that was a disappointment. However, this doesn’t spoil the movie at all. A lot of people also compare this to Battle Royale and, even though there are similarities to them both, both of them are completely different stories with different characters and even different circumstances. Both books and movies are great and I love them both but except for the main similarity, which is the story (government forces kids to fight each other to the death until there’s one winner) and little other similarities, it’s different from the characters to the plot itself. I would recommend The Hunger Games to anybody however I think parents should be warned that some scenes might find some scenes to be too violent for their children to see.
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