THE HUNGER GAMES
Based on the best-selling young-adult novel by author Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games tells the dark tale of a 16-year-old girl named Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), who is selected to compete in a vicious televised tournament in which 24 teenagers from a post-apocalyptic society fight to the death for the entertainment of the masses. In the future, North America is no more. In its place has risen Panem, a divided nation split into 12 districts. Every year, each district selects a teen of each gender (called "Tributes") to test their worth in a competition known as the Hunger Games, which are broadcast across the nation as entertainment, and to reinforce the government's total power. When her younger sister is selected as District 12's latest "Tribute," Katniss volunteers to take her place, and trains under hard-drinking former Hunger Games champion Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson) to sharpen her killer instincts. Now in order to survive the game and emerge the victor, this young combatant must put all of her skills to the ultimate test. Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth co-star. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Director: Gary Ross
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Wes Bentley, Stanley Tucci, Toby Jones, Donald Sutherland
Release Date: Mar 23, 2012
Rated PG-13 for Intense violent thematic material and disturbing images - all
Runtime: 2 hr. 22 min.
Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama
As with most of the literally sensations, a shame on me I know, I’ve missed the book
series this film incarnation is based on. A massive amalgam of Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery, Stephen King’s The Running Man, the Japanese film Battle Royale blended with American Idol and Survivor shoots onto the screen in the form of The Hunger Games. Gary Jones directs this film with a wonderfully direct hand, bringing and elegance and brutality to the screen. The result is a film that feels fresh but retro at the same time. Its visuals harkens back to some of the wonderful Sci-Fi films from the 70’s and 80’s. Jones moves his film at a determined pace, never letting it drag too much, making it feel much brisker than it’s 2 and a half hour runtime. Jennifer Lawrence, continuing an impressive run of films, makes for an effectively stone faced heroine. Lawrence lets us into Katniss emotions just enough without overdoing it. After the first third of the film which is populated with excellent supporting roles from established name actors, its Lawrence’s show and she shines throughout. Josh Hutcherson suffers slightly from an underwritten role and shoehorned romance. Regardless, it’s a teen franchise the truly impresses with its heft and ability to envelope the uninitiated with its fully realized world and characters.