This is N. Demmy’s final piece with us. You may know him as the creator of our “Retrospectacle” series. Though he’ll be moving on to other things, we’ll definitely miss his intellectual, humorous reviews of older films (including this one). Thanks, N. Demmy, for all the great work you did. You’re the reason I decided to join Sci-Fi Bloggers. Good luck our there!
–D. Alexander, The Editor
Directed by Gary Ross
Screenplay by Suzanne Collins, Gary Ross, and Billy Ray
Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Wes Bentley, Stanley Tucci, Toby Jones and Donald Sutherland
Rated PG-13, 142 minutes
In terms of films based on young adult novels, The Hunger Games stacks up very favorably for a film that doesn’t have the name Harry Potter in it. When you’re company is Twilight, The Host, and Beautiful Creatures, then that doesn’t come as much of a complement. As is, the film introduces us to a fairly complex world (surprisingly so, too, for a film that is primarily targeted towards thirteen year-old girls to have seventy minutes go by before the titular action actually begins) before throwing the film into full-on survival mode. As such, the movie comes across somehow disjointed, with the first half of the film being surprisingly far more interesting and full of possibility than its second half, which eschews a lot of the films satirical intricacies and replaces it with a bunch of kids talking to each other threateningly and Wes Bentley pensively rubbing his perversely Prince-styled facial hair (although I would be lying if I said I didn’t consider getting it myself). The film employs the Harry Potter formula of casting bigger-name actors in smaller roles to less success, but some of it is so inspired that credit should be given where it’s due, mainly with Elizabeth Banks, who unfortunately is written out by the halfway point understandably, Woody Harrelson, and Donald Sutherland, both of whom I hope have a much bigger part in the sequel (I don’t remember the book Catching Fire as well, but I think they do). All in all, The Hunger Games is a suitable setup for a series of movies that fares better than others that befall the same problem (remember Jumper, anyone? A film so invested in being a franchise they apparently saved all remotely interesting ideas for a sequel that will never happen as a result).
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