I have found an interesting trend regarding this particular movie: all the guys I know hated it and all the girls I know loved it. I have no clue why. Either way, I went to see The Hunger Games the week after it came out, and I personally really enjoyed the movie.
I don’t think a plot summary is entirely necessary for this review, but I’ll include a small one anyway. The dystopian country of Panem is divided up into the Capitol and 12 districts, each of which specializes in producing some product. As punishment for a previous uprising against the government, every year the districts each offer up a girl and boy tribute to compete in the Hunger Games. The Hunger Games are a twisted survival TV show in which the tributes must fight to the death in an arena until only one winner remains. The book opens before that year’s reaping, or the selection of the tributes, where we meet our protagonist…
The main strength of this movie is the way it managed to stay almost completely true to the book. Everything was either exactly how I had imagined it in my head or even better- especially the control center for the Hunger Games, which was way too awesome and just blew my mind. I cannot think of a single important scene that the movie left out, and the ones that were added in were actually significant. I really have high amounts of praise for this movie because it almost perfectly translated the Hunger Games from a book to a movie, or at the very least did it better than almost any other series that I’ve seen.
However it was not without faults! The main one is the shaky camera that drove me crazy. I began to get used to it later on, but I hate the use of the shaky cam in movies where it’s not necessary and just makes you dizzy and confused. I was also disappointed with the Cornucopia scene. Everything was so blurry and indistinct that you could only guess at what was happening. I suppose it was to censor the violence of the bloodbath, but I felt a little let down. Finally, I was a little confused at Katniss’s behavior in the spotlight. It’s been a long time since I’ve read the book, but I recall Katniss as being fairly naturally charismatic in front of the camera and endearing to the Capitol audience. She was awkward to a cringeworthy level in the movie, and I was left feeling really confused. But like I said, I might just be recalling it wrong.
On a slightly different topic, I also want to talk briefly about the Hunger Games and its comparison to an old Japanese film/novel called Battle Royale. I’ve seen tons of things saying “Hunger Games > Battle Royale!!” or “Hunger Games copied Battle Royale” and the whole mess just kind of bothers me. Even if the Hunger Games did copy Battle Royale, the only concept they share is the idea of kids killing each other until only one winner is left. Otherwise, each series stands on its own with its own merits and flaws. I do like Battle Royale better than the Hunger Games, but that’s just personal preference. I highly enjoyed both series and I can’t understand this sudden rivalry between the two fandoms. My only objection was seeing a magazine call Battle Royale “Japan’s Hunger Games”…but that’s just because that implies BR copied HG, when BR came out around 2000! Let’s get our facts straight guys.
Anyway, as I said before, I really liked the Hunger Games movie. I think it would be appealing to everyone, even people not fans of the book, and I highly recommend it. If you’ve read the book and haven’t seen this movie yet, I don’t know what you’re waiting for! You need to get on that. The movie is rated PG-13.