So I’m sure this will be read by a lot of people, and most probably won’t like me for it. I want to preface it by saying that no, I haven’t read the books, and no I don’t plan on reading the books. I’m not going to waste my time reading junk when I have important things to read. So please don’t comment and say “oh the books are much better” because I’m sure they are. Unfortunately, Hollywood can’t fit all 400 pages into a script and it turn into a 12 hour movie. So I think my review will be more accurate than someone who has read the book because I don’t have a basis for comparison.
NOW, saying all that, I really wanted to like this movie. As much as it has been hyped up and talked about, and as much as I’ve heard about it from everyone at work and, well, everyone in general, I really hoped it would blow me away. I mean 24 teenagers battling it out to the death with only one coming out on top…how could you not like it right?! Wrong. I was pretty much disappointed all around.
Let’s start off with the plot and directing. Obviously it’s based on the book, which I haven’t read, but I feel like there was too much wasted time at the beginning of the movie. 30 minutes into it, I had to stop and gather myself because I was so bored. However, I don’t think all that time at the beginning was used properly because, if you haven’t read the books, you have no idea who half of the cast is and what their roles are. An hour into it, they finally got into the actual games and I thought it’d be entertaining. Unfortunately, it failed there too. I understand the movie is geared towards a younger genre (which is completely idiotic given the plot) but it still lacked quality action. I felt as it if were too sanitized. Then of course the ending…I won’t give it away for the 3 people in America that haven’t seen it that may be reading this, but come on…cheesy. Also, as I feel like I’ve said with EVERY movie I’ve reviewed…PLEASE give me some originality! I’ve seen at least 5 movies with nearly identical plots (most of them being a lot better than this). And finally, what is going on with the camera shakes? Did the camera man have Tourette syndrome or something? It’s completely distracting and annoying.
Now on to the acting. I thought Jennifer Lawrence did a pretty decent job. I will say that this movie was actually cast better than Twilight (which doesn’t take much). I thought Lawrence as Katniss was actually believable and had a softness to her character despite the fact that she’s in a battle to the death with 23 other people. She did a pretty decent job. The rest of the cast, however, wasn’t so great. The exception is maybe Woody Harrelson, but even he didn’t really blow me away.
Overall, I have to say that the movie just doesn’t work for me. It was a decent movie but nothing special. I wouldn’t watch it again and wouldn’t feel like I’ve really missed anything if I wouldn’t have watched it the first time. I would give it a 2.5 out of 5, simply because it’s just mediocre. Had Lawrence not been cast as Katniss, it would be dreadfully bad. The only positives I can take out of it is that at least no one sparkles in the sunlight. Hopefully the second movie will be better but I’m not holding my breath on it. And if you want to watch a similar movie, but one that is A LOT better, and is filled with action, watch Battle Royale. It’s a Japanese movie along similar lines that came out in 2000. I watched it a long time ago and it’s the first thing that I thought of when I heard about these books. It’s filled with blood and gore so I wouldn’t let kids watch it.