Latest Entertainment News Headlines

Review: The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games
03.19.2012by:
8 10

PLOT: While trying to protect her younger sister Primrose, Katniss Everdeen volunteers to enlist in THE HUNGER GAMES. In this deadly event, the rich select “tributes” that must battle each other in a fight to the death. The games are presented to punish the group of districts who rebelled against their country. The proceedings include a boy and a girl chosen from each district to be celebrated, and sadly, quickly forgotten if they are defeated. Talk about getting rid of the poor...

REVIEW: From the first few moments of THE HUNGER GAMES you can tell there is something very different from another “young adult” franchise that I will not mention by name. It lies in the film’s central character Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), a true young adult heroine if ever there was one – even if her name is a tad bit strange. She is a fascinating character that is sympathetic, yet strong, and doesn’t need to rely on a sparkling undead vamp to save her. Out of many of the recent on-screen leading ladies, Lawrence’s Katniss feels like the genuine real deal. It also helps that director Gary Ross creates a very visceral and exciting chapter in this expected franchise for her to exist in.

In the future, there are twelve enslaved districts (the thirteenth was destroyed before the games) set in Panem - the ruins of North America. Poverty has taken over these lands leaving the lower class citizens at the mercy of the rich and powerful. Every year on Reaping Day, each of the districts must choose a boy and girl to represent them in what is called THE HUNGER GAMES. In this gladiatorial competition, the “Tributes” – the unfortunate ones chosen by lottery or volunteer - must fight for survival as only one can be victor in this kill or be killed situation. For the wealthy, it is a time of celebration, and a chance to be entertained by the common folks suffering. This futuristic battle is broadcast live on television for all to see. And who is becoming the star of the show? That would be District 12 and its two entries, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Melark (the terrific Josh Hutcherson).

It is with Katniss we must relate, and thankfully, Suzanne Collins has created a remarkable young woman who must do all she can to protect her family from harm. From early on when her sister is called to be one of the Tributes, it is Katniss who volunteers to protect her younger sibling Primrose (Willow Shields) from certain death. Lawrence is perfect as the selfless young woman who becomes some sort of object put on display for the well-to-do. This is an incredible performance as she is able to create a very real and sympathetic character. There are several impacting moments where we witness her on her own, looking for ways to survive, or trying to help somebody she cares about. Thanks to her impressive work, this is pretty potent stuff. You want a good role model for young women? This isn’t a bad place to start.

If you have read the books, you will have no problems connecting to the fictional nation of Panem in this feature film version. And for the most part, the newly initiated will find it easy enough to play along. The rich folks sport powdered wigs and all sorts of bright and vibrant colors. They enjoy looking down upon the lower class as they would any other animal. Both Everdeen and Melark’s PR Manager of sorts Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) and their mentor, Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson) – the former was victorious at the event – are so caught up in wealth and power that they hardly see the two tributes as anything more than what they are, a sacrificial lamb. Yet once Katniss shows skill and prowess, she quickly becomes the odds on favorite. All the while she develops affectionate feelings for Peeta, yet she doesn’t forget about the boy she left behind (Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne). Thankfully, the beginnings of this romantic triangle are handled deftly.

THE HUNGER GAMES is an exciting and sometimes intuitive take on class wars and the struggle for survival. Certainly there are moments that may not have translated from the book as well as they could have, yet Gary Ross, Suzanne Collins and Billy Ray adapted the script and made it accessible enough to the uninitiated. The cast, which also includes Lenny Kravitz, Wes Bentley, Stanley Tucci and Donald Sutherland, are all appropriately placed in this imaginative world. This may be Lawrence’ shining moment, yet there is not a weak performance of the bunch. Harrelson is especially effective as the arrogant and bitter Abernathy. He gives this character depth which makes his transition into a true champion for Katniss all the more believable.

Going into THE HUNGER GAMES, you have to remember where this came from. If you are looking for an intense and bloody work of fiction, you will be disappointed for sure. There are short bits of combat that were a little more violent than I would have thought they’d be, but nothing that a PG-13 feature hasn’t seen before. And considering the nature of this beast, it does feel like they hold back a little. Not to say you should have beheadings and other sorts of mayhem spewing blood and gore, but to make the fighting between the tributes as quick as they do, the impact is sometimes lessened. Thankfully, there are a handful of moments that exemplify the extreme danger of the games.

THE HUNGER GAMES is sure to please the many fans of the books yet it strives to be more than that. With a lesson in empathy, there is a sense that this kind of reality may be close at hand in our own civilization. The need for blood and the entertainment of seeing the worst in society is merely a preview as to what we might become. GAMES takes a little bit of BATTLE ROYALE - the ultra violent and well respected Japanese feature with a similar premise - and offers an exciting (and sometimes disturbing) vision of the world in which we live. Although if the rich start looking like rejects from the 1985 music video “Rock Me Amadeus” by Falco, we’d all better hope for some sort of salvation.

Source: JoBlo.com

RECOMMENDED MOVIE NEWS

MORE FUN FROM AROUND THE WEB

Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

3:26AM on 03/25/2012
Family version of Battle Royal for chicks. Everybody jump on this band wagon now! Why didn't everybody go see John Carter in America.
Family version of Battle Royal for chicks. Everybody jump on this band wagon now! Why didn't everybody go see John Carter in America.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
9:47PM on 03/20/2012
I'm so glad to hear this is good, and that the hype hasn't backlashed in any way. I think, like Harry Potter, one of the strong points of the film will be the casting of the adult characters to counterbalance the kids - and it helps that Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson are really good actors too. I'd love to get my paws on the action figures by NECA which, like most NECA figures of late, look awesome but have next to no articulation.
I'm so glad to hear this is good, and that the hype hasn't backlashed in any way. I think, like Harry Potter, one of the strong points of the film will be the casting of the adult characters to counterbalance the kids - and it helps that Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson are really good actors too. I'd love to get my paws on the action figures by NECA which, like most NECA figures of late, look awesome but have next to no articulation.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
5:12PM on 03/20/2012

Can't wait to see it!

I'm so happy that The Hunger Games is getting great reviews. The book is incredible! I'm so sick of these Twilight comparisons. There is no comparison because Hunger Games is actually good and the actors can actually act.
I'm so happy that The Hunger Games is getting great reviews. The book is incredible! I'm so sick of these Twilight comparisons. There is no comparison because Hunger Games is actually good and the actors can actually act.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+3
9:55PM on 03/19/2012

Can't wait

I'm really glad this is getting good reviews. My wife read these and finally convinced me... and I read all three of them in about a week. They really are awesome and I'm glad to hear the movie is staying very true to the book. I'll be there Friday for sure.
I'm really glad this is getting good reviews. My wife read these and finally convinced me... and I read all three of them in about a week. They really are awesome and I'm glad to hear the movie is staying very true to the book. I'll be there Friday for sure.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
1:16PM on 03/19/2012

Good review

A little unfair on Haymitch's character: he's so traumatized by what he had to do during the Games that he hides in the bottle, and tries not to care about the never-ending stream of Tributes who die in the Games. And yes, the performances were amazing, especially Jennifer Lawrence.
A little unfair on Haymitch's character: he's so traumatized by what he had to do during the Games that he hides in the bottle, and tries not to care about the never-ending stream of Tributes who die in the Games. And yes, the performances were amazing, especially Jennifer Lawrence.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
1:16PM on 03/19/2012
I think it will be very good, some people won't like it just because they are being stubborn but it should be very good. Jennifer Lawrence is a good actress and the plot is very good.
I think it will be very good, some people won't like it just because they are being stubborn but it should be very good. Jennifer Lawrence is a good actress and the plot is very good.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+11
11:52AM on 03/19/2012
They are predicting this movie to make $127 million this weekend.

Get ready.
They are predicting this movie to make $127 million this weekend.

Get ready.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
12:48PM on 03/19/2012
Are you fucking kidding me?
Are you fucking kidding me?
1:18PM on 03/19/2012
I'm not surprised.
I'm not surprised.
1:58PM on 03/19/2012
personally, i dont see how its going to get up there but we got the numbers in from the chain i work for and theyre pretty much on point.

off topic, the sad part is that my company also distributes some movies and most of the time they have to predict them flopping. Imagine knowing a week in advance youre fucked?
personally, i dont see how its going to get up there but we got the numbers in from the chain i work for and theyre pretty much on point.

off topic, the sad part is that my company also distributes some movies and most of the time they have to predict them flopping. Imagine knowing a week in advance youre fucked?
11:28AM on 03/19/2012
I'll keep an open mind. I know people who have read the books and LOVED them. So my daughter read the first book in ONE day, she's 11. I'll take the review of one who has seen the film or read the book before one of those "not my bag I'll never see it and it must suck" type of non-reviews. I won't say a film sucks if I haven't seen it.
I'll keep an open mind. I know people who have read the books and LOVED them. So my daughter read the first book in ONE day, she's 11. I'll take the review of one who has seen the film or read the book before one of those "not my bag I'll never see it and it must suck" type of non-reviews. I won't say a film sucks if I haven't seen it.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+13
11:02AM on 03/19/2012
Well seeing as how it seems like i'm the only one whose read the series on this forum, I love what they're doing. It seems like they're gonna stick true to the book mostly while maybe changing somethings, which has always been a pretty good formula for success with a book to movie adaptation. They also have a very talented cast with everyone looking like they're going to knock their roles out of the park. So let's relax.
Well seeing as how it seems like i'm the only one whose read the series on this forum, I love what they're doing. It seems like they're gonna stick true to the book mostly while maybe changing somethings, which has always been a pretty good formula for success with a book to movie adaptation. They also have a very talented cast with everyone looking like they're going to knock their roles out of the park. So let's relax.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
1:19PM on 03/19/2012
I've read it too, plus I've seen the movie. You're right.
I've read it too, plus I've seen the movie. You're right.
9:54AM on 03/19/2012
Ok Whoever is greenlighting these movies needs to be given a lobotomy with a corkscrew and a cattle prod. Give me a thumbs down if you agree.
Ok Whoever is greenlighting these movies needs to be given a lobotomy with a corkscrew and a cattle prod. Give me a thumbs down if you agree.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
1:13PM on 03/19/2012
Nice try. You'll be eating your words when you actually see the film, though.
Nice try. You'll be eating your words when you actually see the film, though.
2:33PM on 03/19/2012
I would rather be a contestant in a fear factor eating contest with hissing cockroaches than see this movie.
I would rather be a contestant in a fear factor eating contest with hissing cockroaches than see this movie.
7:13PM on 03/19/2012
This is the worst kind of trolling. You don't even state why you don't like it.
This is the worst kind of trolling. You don't even state why you don't like it.
10:11PM on 03/19/2012
In my opinion, hunger games is the norbit of 2012. Everything about it is enough to make me turn away in disgust whether it be the crappy writing, sub par acting, or just the fact that they are counting on the teenie boppers to fall in love with this movie while overlooking its obvious flaws.
In my opinion, hunger games is the norbit of 2012. Everything about it is enough to make me turn away in disgust whether it be the crappy writing, sub par acting, or just the fact that they are counting on the teenie boppers to fall in love with this movie while overlooking its obvious flaws.
9:41AM on 03/19/2012
Good to read this film drives off from the usual teen book adaptations. I'd take this movie over other ones, definitely.
Good to read this film drives off from the usual teen book adaptations. I'd take this movie over other ones, definitely.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+26
8:51AM on 03/19/2012
Can't wait for the slutty Halloween costumes to show up this year!

I'm sick of hearing about this but I don't think I'll get nearly as annoyed looking at all the marketing as I did with Twilight. Plus, anytime young girls can have a strong female role model, good for them. We can't set the bar at Snooki and the Kardashians.
Can't wait for the slutty Halloween costumes to show up this year!

I'm sick of hearing about this but I don't think I'll get nearly as annoyed looking at all the marketing as I did with Twilight. Plus, anytime young girls can have a strong female role model, good for them. We can't set the bar at Snooki and the Kardashians.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
9:06AM on 03/19/2012
Hear hear!
Hear hear!
+58
8:44AM on 03/19/2012
I'll take The Hunger Games over Twilight any day.
I'll take The Hunger Games over Twilight any day.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
-103
5:10AM on 03/19/2012
Every thing that I've seen of this movie makes it look like a generic at best tweenie bopper movie with no saving graces. I could maybe check it out if it was downloaded for free, otherwise I wouldn't even waste a spot in my netflix queue on this.
Every thing that I've seen of this movie makes it look like a generic at best tweenie bopper movie with no saving graces. I could maybe check it out if it was downloaded for free, otherwise I wouldn't even waste a spot in my netflix queue on this.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
9:49AM on 03/19/2012
A@#$%ingmen!
A@#$%ingmen!
-96
3:42AM on 03/19/2012
From what the trailers have shown me, I have ZERO interest in this. None of them sold me, and being unfamiliar with the source material, Im just not interested in seeing it at all. At all.

My girlfriend is the same, so it's not a gender thing (and she liked Twilight and Harry Potter, but her most anticipated movies this year are Expendables 2 and Prometheus so far... Yeah, right next to the last Twilight.)
From what the trailers have shown me, I have ZERO interest in this. None of them sold me, and being unfamiliar with the source material, Im just not interested in seeing it at all. At all.

My girlfriend is the same, so it's not a gender thing (and she liked Twilight and Harry Potter, but her most anticipated movies this year are Expendables 2 and Prometheus so far... Yeah, right next to the last Twilight.)
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
2:54PM on 03/19/2012
LOL Rukas didn't even bash the movie and he gets over 60 negs! Fanbois unite I guess.

I am with you Ruckas, nothing I have seen or heard makes me want to see this, in fact the more I see and hear the less I want to see it LOL
LOL Rukas didn't even bash the movie and he gets over 60 negs! Fanbois unite I guess.

I am with you Ruckas, nothing I have seen or heard makes me want to see this, in fact the more I see and hear the less I want to see it LOL
4:46AM on 03/20/2012
Wow, -83 and counting! I didnt expect THAT! Dont blame me that the trailers for this look like a bunch of people doing archery in a forest. Like I said, I have NO IDEA how good the source material is, but the trailers look awful.

If I see an engaging trailer, I might go see it, but right now, meh, Id rather go see John Carter or 21 Jump Street again.
Wow, -83 and counting! I didnt expect THAT! Dont blame me that the trailers for this look like a bunch of people doing archery in a forest. Like I said, I have NO IDEA how good the source material is, but the trailers look awful.

If I see an engaging trailer, I might go see it, but right now, meh, Id rather go see John Carter or 21 Jump Street again.
View All Comments

Latest Entertainment News Headlines


Top
Loading...
JoBlo's T-Shirt Shoppe | support our site... Wear Our Gear!