Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Stanley Tucci, Wes Bentley, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson
Directed by: Gary Ross
Written By: Gary Ross,Suzanne Collins, Billy Ray
Rating: PG-13 (US) Running Time: 2 hr 22 min
During the age of the mighty Roman empire gladiators performed for their masters in large coliseums. In times of yore brave knights were required to take part in medieval games to please their royal meal tickets. In The Hunger Games, tributes are selected to compete in the arena for a television show designed to entertain and control the masses. Are we not entertained? Oh yes I’d say we were thank you very much!
The opening thirty minutes of this film does a perfect job of creating the post war world these characters will inhabit. Even for those (like me) who haven’t read the books. From there it’s just a matter of following Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) as she trains, and then competes in the games. What follows is well acted and entertaining, though I did have a problem with the shaky camera work during the arena action scenes, and some of the visual effects looked cheap. As solid as the story is, the number one reason The Hunger Games works so well is due to Jennifer Lawrence’s performance. She’s equally convincing as the girl in over her head from district 12, and the determined archer in the arena.
You may have seen a movie called Battle Royale back in 2000. While some themes are similar, The Hunger Games isn’t a remake of that movie. The violence is never too graphic, and never becomes the focus of the film. If you’re a fan of Jennifer Lawrence you’ll be happy with this. If you’re not, this film just might turn you into one!
Best viewing format:
While the scale of this film is huge, it looks like the budget to bring it to the big screen wasn’t. Several effects shots were a little less than effective, so I think a HD viewing at home is your best option with this film.
No surprise really. Jennifer Lawrence is the single best reason to see this movie.