A Brief Review: The Hunger Games

Grade: B-/C+

First Thoughts:

Eh… I coulda had a V8.

Comments:

The movie ended up being a story of two star crossed lovers instead of an exciting psychological thriller about a 14 year old girl who outwits an oppressive regime whose sadistic “Hunger Games” are meant to torture a population into submission. The film was taken in the wrong direction, and Collins definitely put this story in the hands of the wrong director in Gary Ross.

Star-crossed Lovers?

I’ll just briefly gesture toward my issues with the movie’s adaption:

  • The movie didn’t emphasize the desperation and the hunger of Katniss or folks in the districts.  Granted, they looked poor, but the book opens up with people dying of starvation.  A brief moment between Katniss and Gale where she’s surprised over real bread doesn’t quite capture the desperation.  And that emphasis on desperation makes Katniss’ love of food so much more profound and makes her more human and fleshy.  That got completely lost in the film, along with the fact that Gale kinda looked like her and would have looked a bit less like a supermodel.
  • Why did Gale look like he ate everyday and took supplements?  He was a bit to ripply even under that baggy shirt.
  • I saw one too many people yawn during the movie; pair that with the “stay awake” stretches and that points to the “action” being a bit on the dull side, but I don’t expect much from the guy who wrote “Big.”  The film was filled with so many anti-climactic moments, that it was not a surprise that few people were captivated by those moments.
  • To those reviewers who saw this as anything other than mediocre either don’t watch that many movies, or were so excited to see the Capitol and the Gamemakers, and Katniss on the screen, that they don’t realize that the film wasn’t very strong.

Ultimately, they messed this one up which is not a huge surprise since they mess up most book to film movies (except for John Grisham and Stephen King books).  They distilled an exciting, mentally stimulating story into a series of “this happened-then this-then that” whose story was derivative–“star crossed lovers from District 12.” Advice to Suzanne Collins, call the directors of John Grisham and Stephen King books-to-movies… not the guy who did Seabiscuit

Why the -/+?

I didn’t hate it; it was entertaining.  Mostly because they picked an amazing cast.  Lenny Kravitz as Cinna… yessss. Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket… hell yesss.  And Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, go ‘head ya’ll.  Mostly amazing choices, except for Gale… who are they trying to kid? That guy never missed a meal.

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