Movie Review: Hunger Games


Imagine the world after it has been rebuilt following World War 3. This hasn't actually happened and lets hope it never does, but that is where we start Hunger Games. Hunger Games is the new film based on Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games Trilogy. The first book, which the movie is based, takes place at least 74 years after a new government forms over the ruins of the United States. To prevent the districts from rising up against the capitol a second time, each district is required to send two children, between 12 and 18, to an annual event known as The Hunger Games. The Hunger Games is a televised fight to the death where twenty-four children enter and only one will leave.

Going into the film, I was a little concerned about changes that were made from the original story. I'm not going to list the actual changes because it would give too much of the story away, however Collins has spoken in interviewing explaining that she assisted and approved of the changes to help move the story along.  These changes worked well because the movie felt well paced throughout the story.

Besides the changes that were acknowledged there were some casting decisions that worried me. Could Jennifer Lawrence, a 22 year old woman, successfully portray the 16 year old Katniss? While she still looked older than 16, I am happy to say that her acting skills and a skilled make-up/costume team did a wonderful job aging her down.

The cast was well chosen and the actors were suited for their parts. Woody Harrelson was very convincing as a drunk who was trying not to get attached to his doomed mentees. Donald Sutherland as President Snow did a great job of playing the political villain. The younger actors were also very convincing. Willow Shields as Primrose, the younger sister of Katniss, did an incredible job of showing her anxiety and nervousness as she prepared for her first year of eligibility for the Hunger Games.

Since the film is based in the future, there was a small science fiction aspect in the sets. While it appeared just like the books described, I felt that some parts of the playing field were too far out there. Although they added a behind the scenes aspect to the show which was interesting, I felt the technology was just too unrealistic and the CGI could have been done better.

My personal opinion of this film is that any fan of the book series will leave the film happy with the overall production. Since rumors began last year that a film would be made, we have all been waiting and watching. I'm happy to say it successfully lived up to the hype. If you have not read the books, I highly recommend reading the books before you see the film. This opinion is that of a teacher because the film really doesn't require a background knowledge of the story to enjoy the theatrics. The filmmakers did a wonderful job explaining most of the back story without wasting time.

Hunger Games will be released nation wide on March 23, 2012. Midnight screenings have already sold out nation wide and some theaters have also sold out 3am showings. Expect crowds similar to that of Harry Potter and Twilight for Hunger Games so arrive early and buy your tickets in advance. I have not yet seen any promotions for concessions this weekend, but check your local theater's Facebook page. Regal often has coupons on the weekends.

Movie Rating for Hunger Games

The passes for this pre-screening was received as a blogger to facilitate my review. All opinions are 100% my own. Check out my information post for more information about free movie screenings.


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