The Hunger Games - Review
The Hunger Games is the story of a futuristic America which has been turned into thirteen districts, which consist of twelve rural/industry districts and a capitol which is a hive of flamboyant costumes and advanced technology. Approximately seventy years ago the districts revolted against the capitol, once this revolt was quashed it was decided that every year each district would offer a boy and a girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to fight in a gladiatorial contest to honour the memory of the revolt and to remind the districts that the capitol is the ruling body. The boys and girls are picked in a lottery system which is broadcasted throughout the capitol in a similar way to a reality television show like American idol or big brother. Once selected the children are moved to the capitol where they train for a few days before the contest. We follow Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Meilark (Josh Hutcherson) as the two under dogs from the impoverished district 12.
One of the strongest aspects of this film is its lack of plotting; within the first twenty minutes we learn all the we need to know, without labouring the point. The exposition is delivered perfectly, at no time did I feel as if the plot was moving too fast or being bogged down in unnecessary details. This has often been the downfall for any book to film adaptation. They try to explain what is happening in the plot instead of just showing it. It is a terrible cliché but a picture tells a thousand words, when looking at an adaptation it’s important to keep this in mind. Directors just need to show the development as an audience we are intelligent enough to follow the story.
The only issue I have with this film is that the score does it no justice. The difference between a good and great film can be as simple as the score. Cast your mind back to Avatar and think can you hum the theme song like you can for Star Wars, Jurassic Park or Lord of the Ring? Probably not. The film cried out for an epic score from the likes of John Williams or Hans Zimmer sadly I felt it missed the mark.
Overall this was a very entertaining film and a great way to start the franchise. The best compliment I can afford it, is to say when the film ended and the lights came on I immediately thought that I have to see the next film because I’m so interested in where it’s going. 2012 is shaping up as one of the better years in cinema for some time. Films like The Hunger Games keep the bar pretty high and strengthen my faith in big bold blockbusters. May the odds be always in your favour.