Friday, March 23, 2012

The Hunger Game: Movie Review

Let me start off by saying that I could not have been more excited for the Hunger  Games movie. I blogged over the summer about how much I loved the story of the girl on fire. I bought my tickets for the midnight show when they first went on sale, we got to the movie theater at 9:30 (with dinner and cupcakes in hand) and I totally rocked a Katniss-inspired braid. All in all, my expectations were pretty high. And I am sad to report my expectations were not met.

Do not continue on if you have not seen the movie.

The movie started as expected. The book itself is half the back story/journey to the games and the other half in the games itself so I was ready for a slow start, but was excited to see how they would include all the little details of the book I loved. How DID they do it? Well, they didn't. In the book, I feel like I really got to know and understand all the characters and got a look into every moment of what Katniss's thoughts were. The movie did a horrible job at displaying any of this. I didn't get to see Katniss and Peeta enjoy the train, the food, the lavish furniture...they didn't scarf down meals or dip their bread into cocoa or anything. They didn't even have a scene of Katniss crying on the ride into the Capitol. These things may be small, but honestly they were the things I loved most about the book and I wish it could have been displayed better on screen.

The scenes leading up to the games were great - Katniss and Cinna, everyone on their spokes ready to run..all good. The cornucopia should have been gold and I pictured it WAY bigger. I also wanted more blood! I know it was PG-13, but it's a fight to the deal - gimme some gore!! Katniss escaping the fire balls was great, cutting down the hive and the hallucinations from the jackers were great - especially the scene showing how her dad died in the mine accident. That was probably my favorite part in the whole film.

What else didn't I like? The end was super rushed! All of a sudden Peeta's leg is magically healed in a day?! They spent DAYS in that cave. That is where their relationship grows..and we didn't see nearly enough of that either. Also didn't get the sense that Katniss really is unsure of her feelings for Peeta, or Gale. None of that was clear. Then, when it's down to the final 3 and the mutant dogs come out ... I just wanted them to be bigger, I wanted to be able to see the fall tribute's features in them, and I wanted to feel sad when Cato dies. It was all too quick.. In the book they spend the night shaking, waiting for those cannons to go off.. in the movie it was a 30 second wait. No build up.

Speaking of no build up - the scene where Katniss and Peeta almost eat the berries, I wanted to be on the edge of my seat seeing if they'd do it. Rushed.

Did I cry when Rue died? Yes. Would I if I had NOT read the book? No. There was no real scene showing Katniss's connection to her, as if Rue were Prim. But putting the flowers on her, the singing, the kiss on the forehead...very very well done.

There's so much more I could write, so many little tiny details that were changed or were missing. There was a lot of stuff added too - like the scenes in President Snow's rose garden, and the behind the scenes game-making of how they put the obstacles fantastic! Really added to the story.

IN SUMMARY, if you haven't read the book - I think there are some parts you will be confused by because they are not explained well enough (like why Peeta was with the Career pack, it was never explained what Peeta and Haymitch's plan was all along). If you have read the book, you will likely enjoy it overall but will be annoyed by the little things you expected or wanted to see.

OVERALL rating: 3/5

Did you like the movie? What do you think was missing? What was your favorite scene? What can we expect from films 2 and 3? Comment below


  1. Loved your review. I couldnt have said it better myself. Definitely needed to show more food.. I mean after all it is the freaking HUNGER GAMES. FOOD IS KIND OF A BIG DEAL FOR THEM. Also the Peeta/Haymitch plan was missed.

    I really loved the uprising in district 11 though. That was beautifully done and worked so seamlessly to show that the danger is not contained within the arena. Also a great foreshadowing for what is to come for Panem.

    <3 Elly

    1. Thanks Elly! Loved seeing it with you and being able to discuss after

  2. I'll start off by saying that Caesar portrayed the capitol mentality very well. He embodied the fickleness of the capitol citizens and I liked how he was shown narrating the games as if it was any other sporting event. Also his interview with Peeta was done very well. Josh did a great job of portraying the likable public Peeta that also has a deep emotional side. I agree with you about the little details, but I expected as much since most movies lose those details, it a shame but I think just a typical characteristic of adaptations. I know the director wanted to develop the world of Panem more than was done in the books, so I think they accomplished that while sacrificing time that could have been spent on the train, in the cave etc. I think without the extra development of Panem the movie would have been slower and less captivating for audiences who have not read the books. I thought while reading the book that Collins was lacking in a lot of her descriptions, she always left me wanting a clearer image of the world, background, explanations, descriptions, etc. These gaps had to be closed to make the movie. I was highly satisfied, it wasn't a massacre like other adaptations of books to the big screen, so I was thankful for that. Also, I thought they did a great job developing the careers' personalities. Glimmer, Cato and Clove were more ruthless, fierce and deadly than Collins had made me imagine. Those characters really came alive on the screen in their sadistic satisfaction for killing.

    1. Katie - agreed on Casesar! In fact, I think it was clear that a lot of time was spent on the look and feel of the capitol and their citizens which I loved...Also really loved seeing Cato and Clove's character (and Foxface!) but again wish I had seen more of the Katniss/Rue relationship.

      I think I'm going to see the movie again without a packed theater full of jr high school kids & their commentary.

  3. Sooo now that I've seen it -- I would give it a higher rating than you. I really enjoyed it - obviously it can't be a straight copy of the book, because then what would the point be?
    Things that were missing as you said -- the food details, the Haymitch-Peeta plan, and really most significantly the whole Gale-Katniss-Peeta uncertainty, though honestly its not super great in the book either. The one SINGLE kiss was definitely better than in the book lol

    But things I really enjoyed:: the tracker jacker scene, the tributes (oh Glitter), Stanley Tucci (somehow always amazing), crying over Rue (Shari, do you have no heart? How could you not cry when an adorable little girl dies and asks to be sung to?), and the final Gamemaker scene where he is locked in the room with the berries - major payoff there.

    Good set-up for #2 (maybe they'll put the Avox scene in #2?) I'm looking forward to it. :)