Friday, April 12, 2013

The Hunger Games (2012) - Review

Here it is!  The next big thing since Twilight and Harry Potter before it.  In a dystopian future, kids must do battle to the death to satiate the eeeeevil evil government.  It's The Running Man with kids!  It's Battle Royale with kids!  Wait a minute.  Okay, yeah, so it's been done before.  And the plot sounds like one of those pre-teen books I read for reading class in junior high.

I do own the book.  I have not read it yet.  But I'm sure it's superior.  No movie adaptation of a book (that I'm aware of) has ever surpassed the source material, and I'm sure the same holds true here.  But it's not thaaaat bad.  I actually really like the tone and found the direction to be oddly grisly for a PG-13 film.  I guess movies about kids killing each other is going to be fairly graphic, but still, color me surprised for not holding back too much.

There aren't too many standouts from the film though, unfortunately.  One big exception to this is Jennifer Lawrence, who is actually really good.  I'm not sure I entirely get her weird, slightly schizoid character, but Lawrence herself does a great job in the role.  The rest of the teen cast is pretty forgettable, and I'm not sure what Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks (dressed like Kefka) are doing here.  But everyone else is okay.

Ultimately, the movie comes off like it's trying a bit too hard, but it's not a bad film.  I'm going to be completely honest, here: most of the Harry Potter films aren't very good either.  And everyone has picked up on the fact that Twilight sucks by now.  So that new teen book-turned-movie blockbuster of the week is never going to be a great film.  Did you see Beautiful Creatures?  ...Yeah, neither did I.  But this is better than most, and that's all you can really ask for.

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