The Hunger Games (2012)

"There is no better training, comrade, than fighting to survive!"-Commissar Letlev from Call of Duty 2

In the years following the uprising, every district is required to send a male and a female adolescent to compete in the annual Hunger Games. These games, which are televised nationwide, involve having these teens fight it out until there is only one left standing. When her sister is selected in the lottery, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers to take her place. Will she be able to use her wits to survive?

The Hunger Games, based on the dystopian novel by Suzanne Collins, is a movie that opened this past Friday. Once again, I’ll admit I did the wrong thing by seeing this movie without having read the book.

Despite not having read the book, I did find the plot to be a little predictable. While President Snow (Donald Sutherland) was discussing his rationale as to why he holds these Hunger Games to begin with, I called out what his reasoning was before he even got to it himself.

Other than that, I thought The Hunger Games was very well put-together. The whole movie was very beautifully shot. Much of it took place out in the wild, but every setting of The Hunger Games had its own personality from the coal mining District 12 Katniss came from to the bustling metropolis of The Capitol to the arena. As far as The Capitol, I also have to say the movie’s special effects did not fail to impress. What it reminded me of was Coruscant from the Star Wars prequels.

Where the movie really shined was when the Hunger Game actually began. What the movie really captured was the shear desperation of (let’s be perfectly honest here) children who are literally told to fight one-another to the death. In general, I thought all the child parts were very well-acted, especially on the part of Alexander Ludwig as the murderous Cato. I have to say that the most disturbing part of part of the depiction of the opening of the children’s animal instincts is that children in real life would likely act that way if they were put in the same circumstances.

I also have to praise the haunting musical score. Composers T-Bone Burnett and James Newton Howard, I felt, probably were the ones who contributed the most to creating the atmosphere The Hunger Games went for, and I must say that there was plenty of atmosphere in the movie.

Overall, I thought The Hunger Games worked as a dystopian science fiction film because of how strong the atmosphere was throughout. While the plot was a bit predictable (again, I didn’t read the book) I thought in general the movie was well put-together. While it’s not saying much at all, The Hunger Games is the best movie of 2012 I have seen so far.

Score: 3/4