The books are followed by legions of fans all waiting to see this film.
This review is for those of you who aren’t in those legions.
Let’s begin by saying “The Hunger Games” is very well acted and filmed. The pace moves a bit slowly toward the beginning of the film as you’re introduced to the story’s characters. But then everything takes off and the adventure unfolds.
In the lead role as “Katniss” is Jennifer Lawrence (“X-Men First Class”). Lawrence trained for this role and it shows.
Because of the physical and acting demands required, this is a tough part for any young actress. The film rests almost completely on her shoulders. And with the amount of fans the books have, any actress would feel the strain of “getting it right.”
But Lawrence comes through shiningly.
Josh Hutcherson is also very watchable in his role as “Peeta Mellark,” basically a nice young man, tossed into the lions’ den with Katniss. Hutcherson’s performance is well heeled and thought out as we watch his character develop.
Also worth mentioning are performances by an almost unrecognizable Elizabeth Banks as “Effie Trinket” and Lenny Kravitz as “Cinna, who takes Katniss under his wing.
Then there’s Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy. Abernathy, a survivor of a past Hunger Game, is brought on board as a kind of survival coach. Harrelson adds a wise and knowing melancholy to his character. One can almost feel his sadness as he watches another duo go into the arena.
If you haven’t read the books and just want to see an interesting sci-fi / action film, “The Hunger Games” ends up being a pretty good, even with all the hype.
It gets a B. It’s rated PG-13
For you “Hunger Games” fans, it will probably be the best film you’ll see all year.