It’s been called the number one film of the year. Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games. “Thrilling and superbly acted, The Hunger Games captures the dramatic violence, raw emotion, and ambitious scope of its source novel,” raves Rotten Tomatoes. It seems that everyone from the New York Times to parenting websites praises the movie. From the reviews I heard, I expected an Oscar-worthy thriller.
Frankly, I was not impressed. In fact, far from it. I have not finished the series yet, and perhaps that played a role in my appreciation of the film, but I question how even Hunger Games enthusiasts could have actually enjoyed the Gary Ross rendition of the popular trilogy.
The movie had a cold aura. There was a genuine lack of any emotional attachment to any of the characters and the Hunger Games general theme hinged on gory deaths and a non unique plot, disguised by good acting.
The ending was ametuerish and predictable, not worth the two and a half hour movie by any means. Instead of instilling any emotion or depth, Lions Gate Entertainment settled for a compromised ending to appease all–and to inevitably lead up to a multi-million dollar sequel.
All this said, the actual acting was superb. But even great acting cannot compensate for weak directing and a poor plot. Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth were all fantastic, and with an improved script and revitalized plot, the dynamic trio could have made an exceptional rendition of The Hunger Games. Perhaps there is a chance for a spectacular sequel, though I am specular.
Despite all of this, The Hunger Games has been immensely successful, initially bringing in $152.5 million on its first weekend, setting the precedent for a group of new movies to follow. Hopefully all in involved will be able to preserve the integrity of other books in the series, making the truly Oscar-worthy films they are certainly capable of.