Reviewed: The Hunger Games movie [SPOILERS]

Katniss Everdeen The Hunger Games

It took less than three days to read The Hunger Games trilogy, but I’ll have to wait about three years to enjoy the trilogy in movie form. After watching part one this weekend, I hate having to wait that long.

Whenever they make a movie based on books people love, it’s inevitable that something will be off, like the casting, or they’ll just miss the mark completely. With this one, author and co-writer Suzanne Collins kept it relatively in-line with the book, the casting and sets were phenomenal, and some added adaptations fit well. All that being said, I do have a few criticisms.

The books were largely about the politics of this society, and to me the movie seemed to hint at it instead of going into a bit more detail. Katniss’ many inadvertent thumbs in the face of The Capitol were hardly touched on until the ride back to District 12 when Haymitch says she upset them by forcing two winners. With how the story progresses, the sparks she creates here play a huge part in future events, but for whatever reason they decide to not delve into it more.

Another key point missed was the importance of Katniss playing up her feelings for Peeta. They make it clear that Peeta has feelings for her, but it’s not so obvious that she’s putting on a show to keep them alive. The fake relationship also plays a key part in her relationship with her best friend Gale, but we’re barely given a sample of the struggle she goes through doing what she did.

I know some adaptations have to be made for any film, even if the book isn’t that big, so I’m crossing my fingers for them to touch on some things that were glanced at, a bit more in the next two movies.

As I mentioned before, the casting and sets were phenomenal. While the characters didn’t all necessarily look the same as I had pictured, they certainly acted the same. When it came to the two main ones, Katniss and Peeta, Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson made them come to life much better than I could have imagined.

Sets are just as important as the actors in many cases. For this one, it was as if my imagination was on the big screen in many cases, but especially in the Games. Whether it was in the forest trees, the cave or in the open cornucopia space there were times when I couldn’t believe how perfect they’d actually stuck with the book. So often I picture one thing, then when it’s in a movie I think I read it all wrong – not this time.

Forgetting it’s an adaption of a book for a second, I can say this was the best most entertaining movie I’ve seen in a long time. If I hadn’t read the books I would have given it a higher score, but I did, so I can’t forgive the fact that key plot points weren’t touched on enough. I give The Hunger Games a 4.5/5. After some reflection, I edited the score to accurately reflect my review a bit more. Like I mentioned in a sentence above, if key plot points were focused in on a bit more, it would have deserved the 4.5-5 rating.

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About Sean Bailey
Social media specialist who also happens to be a tech geek that's addicted to reading, movies, music, sports and coffee. Anything said on this blog is my opinion (obviously).

10 Responses to Reviewed: The Hunger Games movie [SPOILERS]

  1. Ashley F. says:

    Great review of the film Sean! 🙂 I definitely have to agree with you on most of this. They did not show enough of the politics that were discussed in the book, and they really didn’t show the struggle Katniss was faced with Gale and Peeta. Besides these things, one thing that particularly bothered me was the Mockingjay pin. In the book they made a huge deal out of the Mockingjay pin, and it really wasn’t as popular as they made it seem in the movie. I wish they had shown how she got the pin in the book. I know it would have added some time onto the movie, but it would have been worth it. I also think they should have detailed the train ride a little more. It was much longer in the book, but it was very important because they really got to know Haymitch and get him to help them out.

    Besides these things I absolutely loved the film! They did a fantastic job with casting and sets, like you mentioned. I can’t wait to go see it again! 🙂

    • Sean Bailey says:

      Ahh good point. The pin part bothered me too, but I chalked it up to them not wanting to add another character in, especially since the mayor’s daughter was somewhat inconsequential. As for the train ride home, I completely agree. They didn’t even show it until they arrived home, but that’s where she was struggling and freaking out about what happened the most.

      It’s hard writing a review for a movie you think is amazing on its own, yet has so many “flaws” when compared to the book.

  2. Tyler Rocho says:

    besides the fact that they ignored, barely touched on, or did a horrible job with some of the key details, it was just ok. as stated, they really needed to put more focus on the politics and then show that katniss was just acting, for the most part, when it came to her love for peeta. they left out some of the minor characters who, while not all that important, add something to the books that makes them great, and coincidentally makes the movie fall flat. make these movies closer to three hours long, put them in the hands of a director known for turning great books into great movies (like peter jackson), and try as hard as you can to stay true to the original story, and then the movies will deserve that 4.5/5 rating

    p.s. the wobbly cameras during any scene where there is action or running, that needs to stop in movies.

    • Sean Bailey says:

      I generally agree with your points, but with Suzanne Collins on the writing team I want to give them the benefit of the doubt that the next one will push the politics a bit more. Regarding the wobbly camera point, I completely forgot about that.. it’s something that I’m also sick of seeing and like you I hope it stops.

  3. Melinda says:

    I liked your review – it’s a different aspect than my review!

    Here is mine:

    poppy-seed-flower.blogspot.com

  4. margsheridan says:

    Nice review Sean. I agree, there were some parts I found important that were overlooked in the movie. But like you said, it’s all about compacting a book into a nice, neat 2.5 hour package – and overall I think they did a good job.

    Like someone else pointed out though, the swaying shots during some of the fight scenes bug me, but sadly I think they did that to cut down on the gore and retain their PG13 classification. Unfortunately I don’t think they’ll fix that for Catching Fire.

    • Sean Bailey says:

      Yeah the shaky cam was definitely used to hide any potential gore. I can understand it being used a bit, and when done right it looks good, but I’ve noticed this one, and recently Safe House, went a bit overboard with it, just to hide real fight scenes.

  5. Pingback: 2012 Entertainment Year in Review « In Sean's Opinion

  6. Pingback: REVIEW: Catching Fire is nothing short of phenomenal | In Sean's Opinion

  7. Tami says:

    There are a large amount of websites that
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