Entertainment

Movie review: The Hunger Games

Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth in a scene from the movie The Hunger Games.
Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth in a scene from the movie The Hunger Games. Contributed - Roadshow Films publicity website

ADAPTING Suzanne Collins' dystopian young adult novel The Hunger Games was always going to be an ambitious undertaking.

The story centres on a televised fight to the death between 24 teens representing 12 districts which unsuccessfully tried to rebel against the wealthy metropolis known simply as The Capital.

The visceral drama of the Hunger Games lends itself easily to the big screen.

But the origin and evolution of such a brutal event is a much more complex subject.

Director Gary Ross has captured the story's post-apocalyptic undertones but has not fully explored the story's themes of class and preservation of personal identity under the thumb of a 'Big Brother' totalitarian government, despite the film's 142-minute length.

District 12 "tributes" Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark observe the excesses of The Capital without comment and seem numb to their overlords' bloodlust.

And unfortunately shaky camera work and out-of-focus zooms make some scenes disorienting and hard to watch.

But luckily for movie-goers the action scenes are thrilling overall, and Ross manages to hold the tension throughout the entire duration of the cut-throat games.

The highlight of the film is the performances by the lead cast.

Star Jennifer Lawrence balances bravery with raw, heart-stopping fear as heroine Katniss.

Elizabeth Banks is superb as the gaudily dressed Effie, our first glimpse into the bizarre mindset of The Capital's citizenry.

She also provides occasional and much-needed comic relief in her quips with Woody Harrelson's character Haymitch - Peeta and Katniss's mentor.

Josh Hutcherson portrays Peeta's vulnerability well but fans will have to wait for the sequel Catching Fire to see Aussie Liam Hemsworth get decent on-screen time as Katniss's best mate and possible sweetheart Gale Hawthorne.

Despite its flaws, The Hunger Games has enjoyed a $214 million global debut and rightly so.

It does justice to the character of Katniss, and that was the most important thing to get right.

 

The Hunger Games

  • Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson.
  • Director: Gary Ross
  • Rated: M
  • Verdict: ***

Topics:  jennifer lawrence liam hemsworth the hunger games


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Heatwave to continue for days as temps top 40 in some areas

Beachgoers cool down at Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast. Temperatures have hit 46 degrees Celsius in parts of outback Queensland today, with a heatwave predicted for the state's central and southern regions.(AAP Image/Dan Peled)

Outback towns scorching under the Friday afternoon sun

Seeney calls on Qantas to reverse Thangool decision

CONCERNED: Callide MP Jeff Seeney.

MP concerned over flow-on effects.

Qantas cuts flights to Thangool

BON VOYAGE: A QantasLink Q300 flies out of Thangool Aerodrome in 2014.

Airline will cease Brisbane to Biloela route from February 1.

Local Partners

MOVIE REVIEW: Bad Santa 2

Billy Bob Thornton and Brett Kelly in a scene from Bad Santa 2.

NAUGHTY Santa sequel falls flat.

Coldplay bathes Brisbane fans in sea of colour

Chris Martin, lead singer of British rock band Coldplay, performs at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. Coldplay are in Australia for a five-show tour. (AAP Image/Dan Peled)

Frontman Chris Martin drapes himself in Australian flag

Sia, Keith Urban top Aussie Grammy nominations

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban at the 50th Annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards

Beyonce dominates with nine nods for 2017 Grammy Awards

New gallery connects humanity and nature

One of Craig Parry's amazing images to be shown at the gallery.

Well known photographer to display one metre images

Hailey Baldwin: I don't understand Taylor Swift's squad

Hailey Baldwin has taken a quick stab at Taylor Swift and co.

Taylor Lautner 'spotted smooching co-star'

Taylor Lautner has been romantically linked to Billie Lourd

Council opens up on 'secret' private development companies

Ipswich City Council Administration Building, South Street, Ipswich. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times

New website launched by Ipswich City Council

INSIDE STORY: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Couple's desperate $550K price drop to sell Gladstone home

Brian Headley and Kirstene Staib are selling their Kin Kora mansion for $750,000.

TELL tale sign of Gladstone's property market.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!