Movie Review: The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games (film)

Image via Wikipedia

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Yes, I’m a bit shocked myself to be writing that high of a rating, but I was pleasantly surprised with this adaptation. After waiting in a relatively long line for a 10:30 a.m. showing, my dad and I watched the much-anticipated “The Hunger Games.” Clocking in at almost 2.5 hours, it certainly didn’t feel that long, since I was enthralled every second.

The cast did brilliantly, not overdoing their acting, but not behaving like robots either. Sure, Jennifer Lawrence has been criticized for her feminine curves, and while I was concerned when learning of the cast that their looks wouldn’t be realistic, I understand that it’s unethical to actually starve actors for their roles. Plus, don’t people realize she’s been nominated for an Oscar for “Winter’s Bone?” She does a great job as Katniss, and just because she’s got boobs and a butt doesn’t mean she’s too sexy for the role. So, I’d like to tell The New York Times to politely shut their face.

As for the setting, Panem looked fantastic. I loved the contrast between the ultra-modern Capitol and the rural districts. Those who haven’t read the books might find the flamboyant Capitol citizens a bit cheesy in their crazy outfits and makeup, but I’d also like to tell them to politely shut their faces. The movie was not made for you.

While the first scenes were great, from the heartbreaking Reaping to the tributes’ training, we all waited in suspense for the Games to begin. I found it very meta that we were just as excited as the Capitol to watch these kids kill each other. We are part of the problem, and Suzanne Collins is making an excellent point that our society is disturbingly obsessed with violence. Our reality TV culture has made us the least common denominator, and that need for voyeurism made me uncomfortable.

That being said, I still feel that the actual gore was diluted down too much, especially with Cato’s death. I kept thinking to myself as I read the scene, How are they going to show a boy get reduced to a skinless, meaty pulp? Well, they didn’t, of course. Should they have? I can understand that the producers did not want to lose most of their demographic with an “R” rating, but I feel pretty jipped as an adult. If I made the decisions, there would be two DVD versions–the theatrical version and an adult-only one that maintains the book’s level of brutality.

Overall, I was very pleased with the film, and I recommend it to any fan of the series. Perhaps if the filmmakers keep this up, I won’t be as upset watching “Mockingjay” as I was reading it. Well, one can hope, right? And as President Snow said, “Hope, it is the only thing stronger than fear.”

12 thoughts on “Movie Review: The Hunger Games

  1. I just went to see it today! I thought overall they did a great job of adapting the book. However, I do agree that they tamed down some of the gore. It was violent, but not gory. I love how they showed the control room of the games even though that wasn’t in the book. It helped give you the idea that the Capitol controlled EVERYTHING.

    I wish there had been time to develop Peeta’s character more – well, both him and Katniss, but mostly him. Sometimes all the characterization that’s done in a book is hard to get across onscreen. A lot of the book is Katniss’ inner dialogue, which also doesn’t always translate into a movie, but I think they did a pretty good job of that.

    • Yes, I also enjoyed the control room, felt it added to the experience to the Games. I also wished they could show more of Peeta, but I think that there will be more time for character development in the sequels, since most of “The Hunger Games” was devoted to world creation. I’m sure they’ll up the ante in the next film!

  2. I’m actually really glad to hear it wasn’t very gory–I’m SO bad with gore in movies. I can read the goriest things in books (I’m a huge Stephen King fan, after all) but the minute any blood shows up in a movie I’m hiding my face. I can’t even deal with people hitting each other. Don’t really know why.

    I’m glad you liked it, though! I’m looking forward to seeing it, but I probably will still wait for it to come out on DVD so I can rent it on Netflix and curl up with it on my couch 🙂

    • Oh, I’m pretty squeamish myself, but I’d at least like the option of watching the gore, even if it’s through my fingers! haha But I’m sure once you watch it, you’ll like it too!

  3. Hey Alyssa, you know me I didnt read the books but but I really wanted to see the film even though I knew that there was going to be alot of killing in it which I don’t care for. And my dear I agree with your review and the 4.5 rating you gave it, all but the gore stuff, I’m glad they kept it a PG-13 rating because if it was Rated R, I wouldn’t have saw it at all. And all though the the deaths were filmed tastefully I still found it disturbing and it took me a couple of days to forget about certain parts. Lol, yes I’m a light weight when it comes to death, gore and killing, I can’t help it. But with that all said I did really like the film and I can’t wait to see the other movies. What can I say, the got me and I must know how it all ends. Lol but don’t tell me how it ends, no spoiler alerts here! 😉

    • Well I’m glad you liked the movie and you weren’t too scarred by it! Might be good that you didn’t read the books then because they were pretty disturbing at times. Maybe we can see the sequel together!

      Oh, and to keep the mystery alive, call me Book Club Babe! ❤ 😉

      • Ha ha okay, and yes I agree I can’t wait for the sequels! It left so many questions buzzing in my brain, I want to know what happens next and how the love story develops, (or if it ever does?). Makes me kinda want to grab a book and find out, Lol. Oh and thanks for posting spoiler alerts on your book reviews so I know not to read them if I don’t want to know the endings. I love that you do that, I wanted to formalize myself with the story line before I saw the movie and saw the SPOILER ALERT! and was like I’m glad she did that! Lol, thank you Book Club Babe! 😉 Can’t wait to read more reviews!

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