Customer Review

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The odds of seeing a good movie are in your favor, April 4, 2012
This review is from: The Hunger Games (DVD)
In a totalitarian future, twenty-four young people from twelve downtrodden districts are selected to battle to the death in a technologically controlled forest environment while being watched on nation-wide television. When a young woman (Jennifer Lawrence) from a mining district volunteers in order to spare her younger sister (Willow Shields), she and her fellow "tribute" from the same district (Josh Hutcherson) play the game as it has never been played before.

Lawrence has deservedly received much praise for her portrayal of Katniss, tough as nails yet vulnerable underneath. The film is a bit too long and lags a bit in the forest scenes when it should really be picking up steam, but ultimately emerges as very entertaining and worthy of sequels. I have not read the books, so I am looking forward to the next developments for Katniss, Peeta, and Gale (Liam Hemsworth, who will no doubt have more to do in future films). Director Gary Ross's shaky camerawork drove me crazy in the film's early portions, but thankfully it was only used to heighten the sense of gritty realism in scenes set in Katniss's home district, so it went away once the characters moved to the Capital. I don't remember whether it returned during the forest combat scenes, which means either that it didn't or that I was too engrossed by the story at that point to notice (entirely possible).

If you enjoyed this film, you should check out "Battle Royale," a Japanese movie with nearly the same premise made more than a decade ago. "Hunger Games" has more heart, but its Asian equivalent is leaner, meaner, funnier (in a very dark way), and more wicked as a social satire. It's also a lot bloodier, so know that going in.
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