USA, 2012, Gary Ross, 142 min.
I can see the appeal of The Hunger Games story. It’s a compelling idea with a good hook and potential for some good action and character development.
The film is well-made. It’s a solid sci-fi/action/drama anchored by a strong central performance by Jennifer Lawrence. Great costumes and atmosphere. The pace moves quickly and it does entertain. But I couldn’t help but feel that the whole thing was a missed opportunity.
The future dsytopian world was interesting but unsurprising. Maybe more will be explained later but for this film the story of the games and the world around them are simplistic. But the biggest issue was the lack of choices presented to the main character.
The story was ripe to have interesting moral choices for Katniss. But instead of taking advantage of that, the film is written in such a way that she never has to make any of those hard choices. In fact, besides her first big scene where she volunteers for the game, Katness just ends up getting pushed into each new situation. She has no control over anything and rarely gets to choice what to do.
There is so much potential for more, but its never realized. So although the film entertains and excites an the surface, its too broad and simplistic to really engage.