Here's my review! There are some spoilers in there, so be warned ;))
The Hunger Games was the first book series after reading Twilight that completely captured me and had me reading almost 24/7. Like so many others I was very curious and excited about the movie and so I was there yesterday evening, on opening day in The Netherlands! Here’s my review of the movie:
+++ Positives +++
- I was pleasantly surprised by the acting of Jennifer Lawrence! She is the perfect Katniss for me, although I had some doubts when I first heard she was cast for the part. She’s very natural, strong and is not afraid to “be ugly”
- The movie stays very faithful to the book and it’s storyline. There are some minor things (like the MJ pin for example) that are different, but that’s just something the fans will notice and my guess is that that storyline (with Madge) was a character too many or too complicated.
- The way they created Panem, the Capitol, District 12 with all its decor, clothing and general atmosphere; it all looks amazing. It’s just like I imagined it while reading the book.
- Some of my personal highlights in the movie:
# The scene when the plates are going up the arena and the countdown starts. You know (if you read the book) what’s going to happen, but this will for sure get your heart racing!
# This might look like an obvious highlight, but where the scene with Rue was both heartbreaking and beautiful, it wasn’t until the scenes after that when I had to shed some tears.
# The Tracker Jacker scene. Again; I knew what was going to happen, so there went my poor heart again! ;) I loved the way how they showed Katniss’s hallucinations on screen!
# The special effects in the “Gamemakers control room” are awesome!
# Stanley as Ceasar Flickerman is hilarious, laughed every time he smiled his huge fake smile!
# Woody is a good Haymitch, though I would’ve liked to have seen him a bit more drunk, loud and misbehaved ;)
- I was most disappointed, and a bit annoyed maybe, by the camerawork. Especially in the action scenes, the camera moves and switches so fast that it distracts from what is happening on screen. You can’t see much of the fighting (in the first Arena scene and last one on the Cornucopia) which my guess is they did cause of the rating, but for me I wished I could have seen more.
- I might have to hide somewhere after this comment, but there is something that made me not completely like Josh as Peeta and I can’t really explain what it is that makes me feel like that. He was good in some scenes (the rooftop, some stuff in the cave) but in others not convincing enough for me personally.
- Maybe this will improve in the next movies, but I didn’t feel as much chemistry between Jennifer and Josh as I expected. The scene in the cave is very important in the book and although this had to be cut short in the movie, it still is the moment that has to deliver. It didn’t feel like that to me as it did in the book.
- I would’ve liked to see more of the whole Hunger Games media circus. Now there were only one or two short flashes of Gale, Prim and Katniss’s mom while watching tv, but in our time of reality tv it would’ve sucked the public in and explained more of how huge the Games are to the Capitol residents and how they enjoy the horrible fights and pursuits.
I’d probably rate the movie 8 ½ out of 10 and I’m definitely gonna see it again in the theatre soon! Happy Hunger Games & may the odds be ever in your favor!