On this hot day I decided to cool off by going to my favorite thing of all time, that’s right a movie. This week’s flick I decided to check out was the Hunger Games, the movie based on Suzanne Collins’ book. Now despite the international sensation that is the book, I wondered just how well the movie would live up to the hype and excitement that has built up over the past few months. Right now I’ll tell you it is a decent movie, but for me did not live up to the craze.
Perhaps the first thing I should say in this movie is how spot on the acting was for every character. As we saw in X-Men first class, Jennifer Lawrence‘s acting ability is incredible and very believable. Lawrence seems to have a knack for playing classic characters, and she managed to fill the very big shoes of the main character Catniss. Starring opposite of her is Josh Hutcherson who plays Peeta. Hutcherson was a good pick for this role as his work in the past has required him to play that quiet, awkward, nice boy who seems to get caught in the most unfortunate situations and still come out okay. The duo seemed to have a natural chemistry for their roles, and their interactions mirrored what they read in the book. The mentors of Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) and Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) were also well done. Harrelson in particular captures the drunk, desperado quite well, yet portrays the concerned and caring tutor at the same time. It still surprises me how much of a chameleon he is as well. As for the other contestants, the casting did their jobs well and managed to select the right people in both look and attitude, especially Rue (Amandla Stenberg). Yes there are plenty of other actors to mention, but I only have limited space so I’ll end this part with saying Stanley Tucci) was the perfect choice for Caesar, and his cheesy smile fit right in with the setting.
But Robbie did they stick close to the story? Yes, they did, for the most part anyway. The crew in charge of this movie managed to adapt the book well, especially with the scenes and sequences focusing on the games. A lot of the man vs. nature element, or in this case woman vs. nature is captured with the camera work in the right angles to make one feel as if you were right there with Catniss. Most of the character interactions are shown as well, though a few of the extra actors have some laughable moments where they overact. What the movie lacks from the book however is a lot of the memories and internal thoughts that Catniss has, which as we know is kind of what the book focuses on. Parts where she is sitting in a tree, combing through the woods, or even sitting in a cave were a little less interesting without realizing what was going on in her head. Had they had that internal conflict it would have probably brought a little more understanding to some of the scenes, but again it’s a movie and there is only so much more you can do.
What else do I have to say about this movie? Well for one thing let’s talk about the action. Depending on what you consider good action will determine whether or now you are impressed with this movie. Those looking for exciting, fast paced, weapon on weapon action will not be impressed with this movie as there is very little combat between the contestants. The little amount of combat there is a little difficult to follow, as the camera shows only glimpses of the fighters as it zooms around like a chicken with its head cut off. I suppose this is to avoid showing graphic kills on young kids, which is a good thing, but if that were going to be the approach I would have just skipped this scene. However, those who are looking for more the survival action and clever use of environment for killing, will be satisfied with this movie. Regardless of the action, the pace of the movie is good, not too fast and not too slow. All of the emotions you read in the book are in the film as well, and there were plenty of times I saw the audience quiver, cry, and cringe at the various scenes in the movie.
To wrap this up, Hunger Games is a good movie that is definitely one of the better book adaptations I have seen in a while. With its fantastic acting, beautiful scenery, and accurate representation of the book, this film definitely deserves some attention. However, it still wasn’t worth the hype for me and still has some things I missed from the book. Action wise it was okay, but again I’m more for fast paced action as opposed to the survival action seen in this movie. My final scores for this movie are as follows:
Movie overall: 8.0
I would say it’s worth a trip to the theater and a good movie to see with friends, significant others, or even by your self. Until next time though this is Robbie K signing out.