With millions of copies in print and hundreds of millions of dollars made at the box office, The Hunger Games franchise has proven to be a certified hit. But is it worth the hype?
If the first movie, which debuted this weekend, is any indication, the answer is a resounding yes.
The Hunger Games tells the story of a dystopian future where Katnis, a poor teenage girl, is forced to compete in The Hunger Games, an annual contest where two children from 12 poor districts are forced to fight to the death.
As a commentary on the horrors of war and the grotesqueness of reality television and the media, the film lacks any hint of subtlety and as such is limited in its effectiveness. Yet the films still works, largely due to a tour de force performance from Jennifer Lawrence as Katnis. Just as she did in the criminally underseen Winter’s Bone, Lawrence instils a fairly simple role with sense of toughness and depth severely lacking from most female heroines.
The films has created significant controversy of violence committed by and against children. In truth, the violence was intentionally toned down in order to secure a PG-13 rating, with most of it hidden by particularly nauseating shaky camera shots. While what violence there is probably makes it inappropriate for younger viewers, the controversy around it should not hold much weight.
While The Hunger Games is not a perfect film, it is a solid adaptation. Lead by a fantastic ensemble cast, it is sure to satisfy fans.