Every bit of emotion was squeezed into the 144 minutes that are presented in Gary Ross’ screen adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ bestseller: The Hunger Games! There are not many movies recently that have been worth clapping for afterwards, but this warranted a loud round of applause from the theater as it drew to a close.
The question has changed from “Is It Any Good?” to “How Good Is It?”
Of all the characters, I LOVED Jennifer Lawrence as the hawk-eyed heroine. Katniss was brash, courageous and caring all at the same time. Plus she looked gorgeous throughout the film, even when she wasn’t “dolled up” for her public Capitol TV appearances. As B mentioned in his review, the fiery costumes left a little to be desired but the young actress was stunning nonetheless.
Likewise, I hope that Woody Harrelson gets enough credit for his excellent portrayal of Haymitch Abernathy. He was spot-on in the look and feel that I got from the book, and provided most of the humor for this at times, tense film.
Lenny Kravitz‘ performance as the stylist, Cinna, and Elizabeth Banks‘ portrayal of the powdered Effie Trinket were refreshing, as well.
I was not quite as blown away by Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark, but he put in a solid effort opposite Lawrence’s near perfect performance.
The one character I would’ve loved to see more of was the crowd’s favorite, as well – the hunk at home. Every time that Gale (Miley Cyrus’ beau, Liam Hemsworth) appeared while the Games were taking place, he looked dismayed and that got a rise out of the sold-out auditorium. Laughter and snickers ensued, but I honestly just felt bad for him.
STICKING TO THE SCRIPT
From the very start, the action and camera-work is fast-paced and gives a sense of urgency. I felt the pain of Katniss leaving her sister and the tension that the entirety of District 12 felt. That feeling is exactly what I felt when I was reading the bestselling novel.
The film went surprisingly quick, but director Ross jam-packed his blockbuster with all the right things. The main plot points were kept intact, while successfully keeping it under the boredom-inducing 3 hour mark by over 30 minutes . The run time is 142 minutes.
The characters and the plot kept me wanting more. The actors shined through the plethora of interesting roles showcased in the first of three box office beauties (or four).