The Hunger Games Movie Review [Spoiler Free]

It’s a little past midday on the east coast of Australia and I’ve just gotten home from watching ‘The Hunger Games’ in the theaters and all I really want to do is to go straight back and watch it again. Failing that, here is my spoiler-free review.

The Movie

There is a reason that this movie is rating so highly on Rotten Tomatoes and other such sites out there. The Hunger Games is a purposeful step behind epic, bringing the wonder and adventure and excitement of an epic movie without missing the point of the source material.

We’re thrown straight into the deep end with very little breathing space before Katniss is carted off to the Capitol along with all the other tributes. There’s no stopping then, as their introductions lead straight into raining which throws them straight into the arena.

The star of the movie is without a doubt the star of the movie. Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen is an inspired choice, in my opinion, and I loved her acting on the screen.

The remaining tributes were similarly talented, though faded into the background nicely.

Outside of the arena is where we get to see some really fine acting though. Woody Harrelson is fantastic as Haymitch, and Lenny Kravitz plays a wonderfully emotive Cinna. Elizabeth Banks is quirky and perfect in her role as Effie Trinket, and with an embossed role from the books, the character of Caesar Flickerman as portrayed by Stanley Tucci was one of my favourite performances.

Filling out this already fantastic cast and mesmerising story is a really impressive use of special effects to make this futuristic/dystopian world fully realised. But maybe even more impressive is the work done by the hair and makeup department, who managed to – I think – perfectly capture the style portrayed in the books.

The Adaptation

This movie is an adaptation of a book, and I want to spend just a moment talking about that. I’m notoriously harsh on adaptations, but I was rather impressed with this one.

Yes, there are moments when something happens that was done differently in the book. In fact, if you want the gruesome nature of the book depicted on the screen, you’ll probably be disappointed, and for good reason considering what you can and can’t do on the big-screen if you are marketing a movie to all ages.

The use of Caesar Flickerman throughout the arena sequence was inspired, considering the inability we have to get into Katniss’ head, and changing up the parachute system was also necessary for the same reasons.

I’m unsure – having not read the next two books in the series – whether we were given insights into future movies/books or not, but those scenes were impressive, and brought me to tears at least once. The silent salute scenes are perfect in their execution, and play exactly the right role they were intended for.

In The End

I definitely want to see this movie again. There are things that I wish I had spent more time on, and things I wish they had spent more time on. In every aspect of filmmaking I can think of, the directors of this movie nailed it; story, casting: and the score to the film was wonderfully emotive and, at times, heartbreaking.

Whether or not you’ve read the books, The Hunger Games is definitely going to be one of the big movies to see in 2012, and I recommend you see it as soon as possible.