Saturday, March 24, 2012
Movie Review: The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games is my favorite book series of all time. And, I think given the way it could have turned out, this overall is an excellent adaptation. It really captures the horror of the situation, and how awful the Capitol is for using this as entertainment. I thought the world-building was done very well.
There can't be enough praise for Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss. She owned the role, and if you had any doubts about her, don't fear. Other wonderful performances: Elizabeth Banks as Effie, Amandla Stenburg as Rue, Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman, Donald Sutherland as President Snow, Woody Harrelson as Haymitch. In general a really good cast. Josh Hutcherson did a better job of Peeta than I was expecting, however, there were times when I thought he lacked a certain Peeta-ness present in book-Peeta. I felt he either got it on the nose, or else made me go "eh." And all the chemistry between him and Jennifer, it was really carried by Jennifer, what bit of it they had. Liam Hemsworth did a good job as Gale, however, you tend to forget about Gale as soon as Katniss leaves him. Lenny Kravitz did better as Cinna than I expected, and even though he didn't act in quite the way I thought of Cinna, he definitely had the magnetism for the role and I see why Gary Ross gave him the role.
I felt a deeper connection with Prim in the movies than in the books. Willow Shields and Jennifer Lawrence had great sister chemistry, and unlike the other person Katniss left behind (Gale) you really remember Prim.
There are extra scenes that don't appear in the book, and I think they did a lot to add to the story behind The Hunger Games. Very good stuff. They also added a lot more depth to Cato's character.
However, the last third of the movie. Once Rue dies, the movie is much too rushed. Which is strange to think, considering the movie is 140 minutes long, it doesn't feel like it. I think they could have cut down the beginning to add more time at what happened to the end of the Games. In general, the relationship between Peeta and Katniss was half-baked. The bread scene was presented in a confusing way, and if you haven't read the books, you won't get it. And all of the parts in the book where they build their relationship had been cut down to near oblivion.
Did you see The Hunger Games? What did you think?