Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Hunger Games

"The Hunger Games"

I have not read the bestselling novel this film is based on so I can't use it as a reference point. I can only judge the film on it's own merit. So for those of who have read the book, you may have an entirely different viewpoint. I found the film interesting and exciting at times but the central plot left a bad taste in my mouth.

Do we really want to watch a film where the entire second half is about a group of youngsters trying to kill each other for the enjoyment of adults? The premise is distasteful but at least most of the slaughter is quick or off screen. I suppose it could have been worse as the film is rated PG-13 to attract it's legions of teenage fans.

Jennifer Lawrence stars as Katniss, the plucky heroine who volunteers to take her younger sister's place at the "games". Ms. Lawrence is a very talented actress who truly breathes life to Katniss. There is not one false note in her performance and I would imagine she does the character proud. She's an exciting talent who carries the film on her young shoulders. She was terrific in "Winter's Bone", "The X-Men: First Class" and now, the first of a Hunger Games trilogy. Co-starring are Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Banks, Wes Bently, Donald Sutherland and Lenny Kravitz. Apparently everyone in the future has horrible hairstyles.

There are elements of "The Truman Show" and certainly "Battle Royale" (a Japanese film from 2000 that basically used the same plot first) found throughout the film and when it tends to lose steam, Ms. Lawrence keeps everything ramped up until the grand finale (which technically isn't a finale at all but a bookmark until the next installment).

Fans of the series will hunger for more but I was satisfied with the first course.

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