The popular book series hit theaters this last weekend and made some impressive accomplishments at the box office. It is the most successful movie to open outside of the typical summer blockbuster season at an incredible $214 million worldwide. It is also the most successful movie ever that was not a sequel or a continued part of a series. It is the 3rd highest opener of all time behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows and the Dark Knight.
The Hunger Games is based on the book series by Suzanne Collins. The first book center around a future in which the government has cracked down on a rebellion and created 12 districts in charge of producing goods and materials and supplying them to the capital. The districts are kept poor and powerless in order to prevent another uprising. As a reminder of the governments power, every year they take a male and female child from each district to fight to the death in an arena created by the game makers. The winner will receive food and wealth for the remainder of their lives and bring pride to their district. This story fallows the chosen two from district 12, Katniss and Peeta as they are taken to the capital and showboated as celebrities before being thrown into an arena with 22 other children and forced to fight and kill each other until there is only one survivor.
The movie lived up to my expectations as a fan of the book. While many characters and nuances were left out, the movie was incredible. The small pieces that were changed for the film, I believe were done so that general audiences could enjoy the movie and not be too lost. The film also made some interesting changes by including a few tidbits from the next book. For example, in the book, President Snow (Donald Sutherland) played a very, very small role. In fact he was hardly in the book at all and his character was not memorable at all. But in the movie, he played a slightly more predominate character and included some aspects of his character development in the second book.
The cast was great. I had not read the book before the previews came out for the movie so its hard to say they fit exactly what I pictured. Even though I knew Woody Harrelson played Haymitch (the mentor), I still had seen a short, fat man when I read the book. But Woody played the part of drunken bum very well! Jennifer Lawrence was also great! I am looking forward to a lot of good things from her. I thought she did well in X-Men: First Class, but seeing her carry a movie and show so much emotion was really impressive. Josh Hutcherson was good as Peeta too. Without changing the love story between he and Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) it was presented slightly different than in the book. It will be interesting how they develop that part of the story in the next movie.
I really thought the marketing of this movie was brilliant. The previews never once showed the actual Hunger Games,just the lead up. The games did not disappoint and made the movie that more captivating. You never knew what to expect visually even if you already knew what was about to occur. There was a lot of fear leading up to this movie that it would be another Twilight movie. A great book, but on film it was just a dumb teenie-bopper movie which featured sub-par acting and an annoying love story filled with drama and teen angst. I have to say those fears were squashed completely. This will be a fantastic franchise and while I have not read the next 2 books yet, I am on pins and needles to know what happens next.
I highly recommend seeing this movie. Check this one out in theaters, its a fun experience. I give this movie 4.5 stars out of 5. The only thing I did not like about the movie was the depiction of the love story between the two main characters. I don't know if it was the chemistry between actors or the script, but it was less interesting than in the book. Other than that, the movie was great.
Movie poster from: http://www.imdb.com/media/rm2868031744/tt1392170