By Nathan M Rose

Mar 22, 2012 10:37 AM EST


The Hunger Games Theatrical Review

Typically, when a film is hyped up to the point of almost being a religious experience, it will fail to meet expectations; and only the die-hard fans will like a film despite its flaws.  However, this is the exact opposite of The Hunger Games, which is based on the New York Times bestselling young adult novel, by Suzanne Collins. The film takes the book and turns up the volume 110%!
Set in a post-apocalyptic world of North America, every year the twelve districts of the nation of Panem sends a teenage boy and girl to participate in a brutal game, called The Hunger Games, to pay tribute to the Capital. Once a boy or girl reaches a certain age, they are entered into a lottery; and if picked, forced to play the game. 
On this year, the 74th annual Hunger Games, Katniss Eberdeen (Jennifer Lawrence, X-Men: First Class) volunteers as tribute to avoid her young sister from being taken for the games. Katniss and her fellow District companion, Peeta Mellark (Bridge to Terabithia), then must travel to the Capital to be trained to fight and honor their District until only one teenager remains alive.
The cast is led by the charismatic Jennifer Lawrence who seems to be born to play the role of Katniss Eberdeen.  Lawrence skillfully displays Katniss' emotional side, instead of making her into the next inline of one-dimensional female action stars. Along with co-stars Peeta Mellark, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Lenny Kravitz, and Donald Sutherland, the world of Panem plays a host to many talented actors of our time.
To help bring the world of Panem to life, Lionsgate brought in Writer/Director, Gary Ross (Pleasantville) to helm what is the first film in a planned trilogy.  His veteran skills behind the camera help to shape an amazing, believable world where children have to grow up much too quickly.  The cinematography is breathtaking; and while sometimes the shaking camera can be a bit much, the film is paced perfectly.
Some others in today's world of showbiz have been likening The Hunger Games, as the "next Twlight" --  while I would agree in that the fan base is as strong and as passionate about the film. That is where the comparison ends though.  Hunger Games is a deep, emotional story, touching upon all levels of humanity that will leave a very large impact after you have left the theater.  However, this movie is not for the faint of heart.  The Hunger Games walks a thin line between PG-13 and R.  It contains a lot of blood, death of children, and an overall view of the future that is bleak and dim.
So until Catching Fire (the second book in the trilogy) is released is theaters...May the odds ever be in your favor.

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