Film Review: The Hunger Games

Twenty four randomly selected children are pitted against each other in a televised fight to the death in The Hunger Games.

The Hunger Games

Cert. 12A

3/5 stars

WHETHER you’ve read the book or not, you’ll appreciate that The Hunger Games is a refreshingly unique film which quite rightly stands out in the disappointing bundle of post-awards-season releases.

It’s not your average post-apocalyptic tale, where theatrically barren landscapes and monstrous sub-cultures stalking the earth are the standard.

Writer, Suzanne Collins, has created an original, and scarily imaginable, dystopian future in which 12 Districts serve the all-powerful Capitol.

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To remind their subordinates of the brutal end suffered by the now nonexistent 13th District after a failed attempted uprising, the Capitol hosts an annual televised competition, The Hunger Games, which sees one female and one male ‘tribute’ from each District fight to the death in a specially engineered arena.

The unapologetic violence against such young characters captures the brutality of the games and the nature of the Capitol, without gratuitous bloodshed.

However, two hours is hardly enough to develop the enthralling characters and detail penned in Collins’ first book, and doesn’t give us enough time to appreciate spectacular performances from Woody Harrelson, Lenny Kravitz and Stanley Tucci.

The cliff-hanger ending will infuriate those who aren’t privy to what comes in later installments, Catching Fire and Mockingjay, but fans are likely to stick with the trilogy regardless.

An innovative story and an amazing cast, but rushing through the action loses so much of what made the original books so popular.

Hopefully the second and third films will explain more fully the inspiration and message behind the story.