The Hunger Games is the first of four films based on the very popular trilogy of novels by Suzanne Collins, who also collaborated on the script for this one.
It’s set in a fascist future where North America is divided into 12 zones and every year a girl and boy from each zone is selected to take part in the ‘games’ in which the 24 teens try to kill each other until only one is left. The event is televised live, much like a game show, and the powers that be can also interfere with it at their whim.
Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson are the two selected from zone 12 and luckily she’s a crack archer and knows how to live in the wild (the event takes place in a large forest). While there’s not much doubt about who will win the event and the movie would be better if it was half an hour shorter, this is solid, even exciting, entertainment once you get past the idea of teens killing teens as a contest.
Lawrence carries the film well and appears to have a great career ahead of her. She heads a solid cast including Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci and Donald Sutherland. This reviewer hasn’t read the books, but viewers generally feel the movie is faithful to the spirit, if not the facts, of the original story. With its prebuilt audience this series is shaping up to be bigger box office than Harry Potter or Twilight.
Rating: four deer out of five
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Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.