Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Movie Review: The Hunger Games


As a recent treat on a child-free weekend, my husband and I got together with some good friends for a double date. We'd been waiting a long time to get all our schedules and babysitting worked out between the four of us, and we had a wonderful time. We went out to eat, went to a movie, and then went out for coffee afterwards. This particular couple is also very into movies, and when they suggested The Hunger Games, I'll admit I was a little taken aback. I thought it might be fun to see, but I hadn't read the books, and I was pretty sure Stefan would shoot it down. After we'd had some encouragement from them, telling us they thought we would actually like it, we went and though, "Oh well, if it's terrible, it was free!" since we still had movie money from Christmas left over.

I would definitely PAY the near $20 fee for two to see this movie again, and I can't wait to get my hands on the books. I was so glad I really didn't have any expectations of the movie, because if people had built it up (or rather, I had taken their building up for face value) I may have been sorely disappointed. I didn't know a darn thing about this story other than the basic outline of an anti-Utopian world with a human-sacrifice annual game. Weird things to know, I suppose, but no details. I was very surprised with how quickly the 2 1/2 hours went, as I was very interested the entire time. When I got done with the movie, I told Stefan someone could easily write a 100 page thesis on this movie alone, because there is so much symbolism going on. Costume, setting, and of course plot line included in that.

The story is about a girl, Katniss, who substitutes herself for the Hunger Games in lieu of her younger sister who's name is chosen at random. A boy and a girl (her) are taken from every area and have to compete in a to-the-death game until there is one left--the winner. As the weeks unfold and the game is played, the audience is watching from afar, and danger is at every turn in the form of fake ravenous dog-like creatures (go with it here), shooting sky fire, and other players that cannot be trusted at any time.

This movie is definitely a big box office seller as it's adapted from a very popular juvenile fiction trilogy that is full of action and death, but it's also well-suited for academic circles, too, and is definitely one of those movies made to make you think. It's got action, interesting costumes, a great female lead (a  REALLY strong female character...you don't see that much in movies!), a love story or two and some comedic relief. I would give The Hunger Games 4 out of 5 stars. The dialogue needed a bit of work, but wasn't nearly as bad as some (ahem) comic book movies I've seen in the past. I can't wait to read the books and see the other two.

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