Director: Gary Ross
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, A Hemsworth, Woody Boyd, and a well-paid Stanley Tucci and Elizabeth Banks
Have I Seen it Before: Yes? Did I see it in the theater? I can’t honestly remember.
Did I Like It: I guess, but… Well, we’ll get to that later.
The cinematic adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ first novel in The Hunger Games series is stylishly directed, and the cast is better than one might expect for the material and genre, benefiting from casting a still-unknown Jennifer Lawrence before she became a bona fide movie star, and other performers like Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, and even Stanley Tucci who might otherwise seem like they were slumming it a bit, appearing in such a YA yarn, but are actually amiable screen presences and professional performers, that you never get the sense that this was anything other than the roles they were meant to play.
Here’s my problem, and it actually stems from the books, I suppose, so it’s entirely possible that the filmmakers should get a pass. It is a matter of believability.
I mean, I think I get that the story is supposed to be a parable tying in elements of the gladiators of ancient Rome, the antebellum south, and thorough reading of the Cliff’s Notes of 1984, but like nobody is happy about the Hunger Games taking place. It puts the powers of the Capitol in doubt, and it’s not like anyone who lives in a District lower than 2 is thrilled with the idea of having to go and fight these things. Why did they agree to all of this? Is there some kind of better explanation for this as the films/novels go on? Maybe I’m in for the whole ride now to find out. Maybe, in that respect, it is less of a flaw than a virtue. I imagine I’ll have thoughts on this issue as things progress.
Also—with a similar level of dubiousness—how did Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) live that long. He should have been out in the initial rush for supplies.