Connect with us

DVD/Blu-ray

The Hunger Games

Published

on

 

Released: 23rd March 2012

Director: Gary Ross

Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Stanley Tucci, Liam Hemsworth

Certificate: 12a

Reviewer: Luke Walkley

In a future piecing itself together following a devastating war, America has become known as Panem, a country split into 12 Districts and The Capitol. Each year since the war, each of the districts has offered one young male and one female tribute to act as their representatives in a fight to the death known as The Hunger Games. When District 12 selects Katniss Everdeen’s (Jennifer Lawrence) sister Primrose (Willow Shields) as the tribute, Katniss volunteers to take her place. Along with the other tribute, Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), they travel to the Capitol with Effie Trinket(Elizabeth Banks) to learn how to fight and win sponsors to aid them in the games.

The first in the series of Suzanne Collins novels, has grown in popularity thanks to an interesting publicity campaign. With Collins herself working on the screenplay alongside director Gary Ross, the fans of the book seemed pleased with the snippets they were shown in the run up to release. Sticking close to the original is always key to pleasing fans and while The Hunger Games does well to cover most bases of the book, there is only so much that can be done in two and a half hours.

The style of the movie has transferred well, the inhabitants of the poverty ridden District 12 are a far cry from the riches of those residing in the Capitol. The fashion, make up and overall backdrop of the film is fantastic. From the Capitols luscious buildings to the vast expanses of the Arena in which the games take place.

Jennifer Lawrence, who stars as the heroine Katniss, has earned quite a reputation over the last year or so after appearing as young Mystique in ‘X-Men: First Class’. She delivers her role in elegant style, overcoming her nerves with a powerful instinct to survive. Josh Hutcherson contributes well, an understated role that adds to the chemistry between the two. Liam Hemsworth’s small role is comfortable and sets up his character well for future films, as he plays a larger part in the later books. However the stars of the show, in slightly understated roles are Woody Harrelson as Haymitch, the mentor of the two tributes and Stanley Tucci as Caesar, the master of ceremonies. Both deliver well-rounded and even hilarious roles at times and, while the seriousness of events hits home, they offer a well needed reprieve at times.

Perhaps The Hunger Games biggest downfall is its audience. With the books aimed at ages 12+, the violence is somewhat restrained in the film. While this will please the masses, its a bit of a disappointment to fans of the book series who were hoping for something more than the love triangle that Gale, Katniss and Peeta share.

Despite the films substantial running time, there is a slight lack of character development amongst the supporting cast. While Harrelson, Tucci and Hemsworth’s characters  will play larger parts in future films and therefore have the scope to develop. One of the defining moments of the first book, is skimmed over slightly too quickly. While the scene in question is certainly moving, it doesn’t pack enough of an emotional punch to land a knockout blow.

The Hunger Games also falls slightly short in terms of it’s CGI, motion blur and a lack of detail on certain aspects are quite obvious and in truth, surprising for a film with such a great look overall.

Those hoping for a modern Battle Royale will be disappointed, in essence a closer comparison would be to ‘The Running Man’. While The Hunger Games stays true to the book of the same name, pleasing the majority of fans in doing so, the film as a whole lacks the ‘Wow’ factor. It is a great film, one that looks at the relationship of those faced with fear in a deep and meaningful way, with some excellent cinematography and scenes thrown in. The Hunger Games has the potential to become a lot more, much in the same way the first Harry Potter film tested the waters before spawning 7 fantastic book to film sequels.

The premise of a series excites me, a deeper look at the supporting cast is required but, all in all The Hunger Games is a solid effort. The Hunger Games is served as a fantastic starter that whets the appetite ready for the main course that will inevitably follow.

Editor-in-Chief of Movie Marker. Likes: Scorsese, Spielberg and Tarantino Dislikes: The film 'Open Water' I mean, what was that all about?

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Trending