Blu-Ray/DVD

The Hunger Games: Review

Posted 03/09/2012

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The Hunger Games
Set in the futuristic and post-apocalyptic North American country of Panem, 'The Hunger Games' is a twisted sci-fi story of hope and rebellion adapted from the Suzanne Collins's book series of the same title. Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Hutcherson) are two of the twenty-four 'tributes' selected from the youth of Panem's twelve districts and forced to fight to the death in a televised event sponsored by their own government. An unlikely favourite to emerge as the sole survivor, Katniss soon wins over the hearts of the nation and fellow competitors, much to the disappointment of the Capitol.

Successful books have no chance of staying away from the silver screen these days, and with a reader fan base like that of the 'Hunger Games' series, the pressure to deliver well on the film adaptation is of 'Harry Potter'-scale proportion. Luckily for director Gary Ross, he succeeds in staying true to the book's storyline (there are minor adjustments but no glaring changes) while also maintaining its hopeful theme amidst dark and desperate times. Lawrence, Hutcherson, and Hemsworth each give strong performances and should have no problem convincing audiences that they were solid casting choices for the latest instant blockbuster franchise.

From the die-hard book fan to the casual moviegoer, 'The Hunger Games' will surely draw in large audiences, but more importantly, it will send them back home excited for the second instalment of the trilogy.

Upsides:
-Jennifer Lawrence is immediately believable and likeable as Katniss.
-Ross balances the fantastic and futuristic settings with exciting and realistic camera work so that nothing becomes laughable or too over-the-top.
-Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, and Donald Sutherland are seasoned vets who work well with the relatively new crop of Hollywood's elite in Lawrence, Hutcherson, and Hemsworth.

Downsides:
-Katniss's internal struggle with manipulating the emotions of Panem's TV viewers, Peeta, and her best friend Gale (Hemsworth) could have been developed further.

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