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"The Hunger Games" Movie Review

Updated on August 11, 2017
Violets3 profile image

An avid movie watcher who dedicates her free time to writing passionate (mostly) negative reviews, even when she usually enjoys the film.

Hunger Games Movie Cover:

Katniss Everdeen shooting an arrow on the movie cover
Katniss Everdeen shooting an arrow on the movie cover

Review: Hunger Games

Movie: The Hunger Games (2012)

Directed by: Gary Ross

Screenplay by: Suzanne Collins, Gary Ross, Billy Ray

Based on: "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins

Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth

Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller, Drama

Release date: March 23, 2012

My Rating: 7/10

IMDB: 7.2/10

Movie summary (w/spoilers) on Wiki

Verdict: If you love the dystopian genre, you will love this movie series.

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Review (completely spoiler free):


Plot:

In a not-too-distant future, North America is replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year two young people under 18 are selected from each district by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. This game is forced by the 12 districts to be watched, as a way to remind them of their place and to never rebel against it, except this year, everything goes wrong when Prim is chosen and Katniss volunteers in her place. Peeta, the male representative, and Katniss, will have to put aside their feelings and face each other and their competitors to survive the game.

Thoughts:

Okay so it's hard to judge the movie accurately when I've read all the books, and loved them. I was into the Hunger Games before I even knew movies of it were coming out. And while I'm totally in love with the bittersweet and realistic ending of the third book, I still enjoyed the first book the most.

It was the first one...so yeah.

In terms of book to movie adaption..not so much. The book I gave 5 stars out of 5 (at least years ago when I read it), but the movie..as you can see...gets a much lower score.

It's not so much that I was upset some things didn't end up in the movie (it was sad, but expected since a movie can only put in so much before making a movie too long), but some things were dramatically changed in the end of the film, along with some unexplained things that would make the characters seem less stupid had we had some kind of dialogue or monologue in the film explaining the fact that the characters had no choice.

I'm not going to convince anyone to read the book, the movie gets the point across, but no matter how I look at it..it could have been done better. And they should have stayed away from those weird abominations of monsters attacking the remaining competitors near the end of the film. It made the movie more silly. That's not what happened in the book, and it was better in the book. Why do writers end up changing things so dramatically when the book does it better?

And Peeta's disability in the book? And katniss' hearing? Yeah, totally thrown out the window. It would have made the movie more realistic and the games more sinister had they come out the other end a little messed up. It was disappointing in this respect.

Yeah, I'm nitpicking, but the movie itself wasn't amazing. Jennifer Lawrence is a great actress. If you don't believe me, go watch her "the silver linings playbook" movie. She did an amazing job; it was a roller-coaster of emotions. But in the first film (granted, Katniss is sort of a dead person inside, but still, she could have given her some character), Katniss just felt so emotionless. In the "she can't really act" kind of way. She definitely improved in the later films, but I felt very distant from her in the movie, when in the book, she had great character variety. She was still resentful of the games, and refused to fall in love or have kids, but she wasn't unfeeling - as portrayed in the film. It just...removed me from the movie sometimes.

But hey, the hunger games was still fun. Says something about humanity huh? That we are watching a movie about people watching others kill each other, and we enjoy it. There's something to think about. Just how possible is the hunger games in our world? I think it's not only possible, but has happened in the history of mankind. Gladiators come to mind.

This reminds me of the self-fulfilling prophecy. Sometimes we wonder if the books were predicting the future, but maybe the books were just closely observing humanity and dramatizing to make a book..but that when people later read it and become aware of the idea - no matter how sinister it might be - they become more prone to making it happen.

Not exactly a science, but something interesting. I think 1984 is another book that's slowly becoming true in some ways. The more technology advances, and the more we disregard trying to look at the misuse of that technology and to put restrictions and make laws to protect people who are abused by it....the worse it gets. When power goes unchecked...bad things happen.

And this hardly has anything to do with who is in power. Power corrupts the mind. People like to say that all politicians are bad...but is it because all politicians became bad because of the power that was given to them, or because they were sociopaths to begin with? That they had ill intentions? I hardly doubt that one or the other is fully true, but that the first has more influence. There is no such thing as a perfect person, and because of that, each person is capable of evil to some degree if given a chance to corrupt the mind. We all like to think we're good people, and that we would never do such a thing...but really think about it. And don't put yourself above everyone else. We all like to think we're special in some way, but we're all human with character flaws.

We are all capable of being corrupted.

So..still think the hunger games is not possible? You just might find yourself wrong someday in your lifetime.

Here's something else to think about:

1) there are people who watch animals - dogs, roosters, etc - kill each other and bet money for the fun of it. This might be a niche group, but there is the implication that in some effect, we are doing something similar to a movie. I'll go one step further:

2) we watch sports - fighting sports, the real and the fake ones - where people get hurt, or even in some cases, die. That's closer to this movie than ever before. And almost all of us enjoy watching it (some of us, sometimes; others, religiously).

3)human trafficking. In some form or another, there is a large group of people who are kidnapped and made to do horrendous things for survival. There must be a market for it for people to do this, right? How many people are kidnapped per year. How high is it? And....what does that mean about the demand?

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Conclusion:

With all it's faults, it's still a good movie to watch, and there's something to learn from it. Either about humanity and all the evils, or how we can avoid it. I really like films that are disturbing, and I can find a relation to the real world. It's just interesting to let the mind wonder, but don't get lost in the rabbit hole.

Hint: don't take this movie as a how-to manual. XD


Note:

Jennifer Lawrence plays in the movie Passengers (Review here)

Want to read another movie review in the Teen genre?

Check out The 5th Wave and Twilight!

May the odds be ever in your favor
May the odds be ever in your favor

Why didn't they rebel?

This is rather easy to answer:

1)desensitized to the hunger games

2)poor, weaponless, and famished


Sure, they can rebel - as one of the districts did - but just like the district that did, it didn't end up too well with them. People can tolerate a certain kind of evil for a duration of time...and yes, we occasionally rebel after that limit is reached, but even then, if we are not skilled or strategic, we have no weapons or the technology, no amount of manpower can make us win.

Katniss hunting with Gale
Katniss hunting with Gale

Why didn't the district feed these districts to keep them happy?

Well...why do dictators not feed their citizens to keep them happy? To prevent rebellions? It goes something like this:

a) feed/clothe citizens: "If you give a mouse a cookie, it will ask for a glass of milk". The more direct answer? They will want more. More food, more clothes, more rights, more freedoms..and suddenly, you're not a dictator anymore. Not good for said dictator.

b)starve citizens: keep them in line. Keep your power. At least you will lavish in the resources more. There will be more of everything. Even if it's short term, it will be a great short term.

Really liked this "sign" language
Really liked this "sign" language

Movie Trailer:

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