The Hunger Games (2012) Poster

User Reviews

Add a Review
1,983 ReviewsOrdered By: Helpfulness
Battle Royale minus humor plus cheese
JWJanneck5 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I do not know the book this movie is based on, but I sincerely hope that it is much better (and have been told that it is) than its adaptation. As it stands, the movie is a PG13 version of Battle Royale, with a hint of Running Man, a touch of Truman Show, minus any irony or humor, with a lot less gore (to keep it PG13 no doubt), and a lot more cheese.

The one thing that might have set it apart from its many predecessors would have been the political and social background story which is hinted at in the brilliant but short performances of Tucci and Banks, but gets drowned out by the tedious, incoherent, and unconvincing attempts at action and cheesy teenage romance of the Twilight variety.

Even though the "action" is clearly intended to carry the movie, given the amount of time devoted to it, it is largely vapid PG13-type stuff, where the heroine MacGyvers her way out of a tight corner by dropping a hive of waspy insects onto her assailants --- who, in spite of being in a fight for their lives, guard her, and themselves, by collectively taking a nap at the foot of the tree their opponent is trapped in. Common sense isn't the strength of any of the contestants, which gallivant unguardedly and noisily through woods they know to be full of people out to kill them, and spend quite a bit of time publicly (and noisily) emoting when disagreeable stuff happens. Gimmicks abound, many of which easily predictable as they are introduced hamfistedly one by one during the preparation and training phase.

Movie making is a business, and much of the revenue comes from young people, and there is every reason to believe that this movie is successfully catering to their tastes and preferences. Unfortunately for the rest of us, this means that all the interesting commentary on our own lives and societies that the source material might have contained is only a small subtext to a teenage drama that has been done before, better, sharper, and more convincing. The scenes with Tucci (equipped with dental enhancements that accentuate everything he does) and Banks (also in magnificent costume) are the highlights of this film, degrading the main action to mere filler for the teens. Unfortunately, for more than two hours, that's just not enough.
35 out of 38 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
(Battle) Royale with cheese...and a side order of over exaggeration.
ArT_of_InSaNiTy25 November 2013
So as a movie enthusiast and a Cineworld unlimited card holder i do my fair share of visits to the cinema. Of course when a film garners interest the trailers become more and more prominent; this could be said for the newly released "Hunger Games:Catching Fire". Constant trailers and advertisements on TV....which led me to think...well i haven't even seen the first one yet. This led me to take up the opportunity that CineWorld had put before me, in seeing the first film in the Cinema in a one day special showing of the 2012 blockbuster.......

....but oh how i wish i didn't. Fast Forward to the end of the film and i walk out wondering what all the fuss is about and ahead of me i see an ever growing queue outside of anxious teens awaiting the midnight showing of the sequel. And it hit me like a bullet. This is why there is so much hype. I mean there could be no better an example of teen power than the Twilight saga. And this is very similar. Has any of these nutters seen "Battle Royale"? That is how you do a film focused on individual survival. That is a film that shows you the depths people will go to survive. It doesn't hide from the violence and it doesn't over complicate it. It is live or die. Simple.

Now this farce of a film is more focused on creating a love triangle between Katnis, (Lawrence) Gale (Hemsworth) and Peeta (Hutcherson). All this district nonsense, all this sacrifice, all the deaths...just for a love triangle. That is what the underlying story and forthcoming films are going to be all about; twilight anyone? It is one of the cheesiest films ever; made me cringe so much i was almost sure my spine would snap at any moment. That my head would go all exorcist and just keep going when i constantly turned away in dismay. This film is successful because of the vast amount of teens who are vacuumed into love stories and won't let go until a shirt is taken off. And anyone over the age of 18 who still enjoys this needs to grow up and go watch Battle Royale and that'll show you what would really happen in a circumstance like this.

The film takes almost an hour to start and when it does start, it actually doesn't. It's slow, uneventful and the characters they try so hard for you to feel sympathy towards are so incredibly unimportant that you simply don't care.

Yet another film, that is over exaggerated, over hyped, over advertised and over the top with cheese.

2/10 (and that's me being nice)
32 out of 35 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
It's Battle Royale...In PG-13!
dmhughes-448-69510214 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Alright, I'm going to be honest. I thought this film was going to be terrible. I really did. I've read all the books, and I thought they were okay, but not really worth all the hype. Then I saw the film, and I was blown away. This was one of the best films of 2012, and I cannot wait for the sequels to come out, although I am a little upset that they're splitting Mockingjay into two films! Oh, and by the way, there is a film just like this one; it came out 10 years ago, was called Battle Royale, and it was better than this, even though this film was excellent.

The film takes place in a dystopia future, where the world was destroyed by an unknown event. The area that survived, now called Panem (North America), is now split into 12 districts, all ruled by The Capitol. We find out that the districts attempted to overthrow the capital, but they were defeated, resulting in the destruction of District 13. Now, for the past 74 years, two citizens of each district; a boy and a girl, all between the ages of 12 and 18, are sent to die in a tournament called the Hunger Games. The last person standing receives a lifetime of fame and fortune, and the district reaps the benefits. This film follows 16-year old Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) of District 12, an expert archer, who volunteers to take her younger sister's place in the games. Her partner, Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), is a baker, and they come with a strategy of pretending to fall in love with each other in order to look good and get help from the outside world during the games. They are guided by Haymitch (a great Woody Harrelson), a drunkard who is the only surviving winner from District 12 (only two from the district have ever won).

They head for the Capital, and are trained, and they meet the other tributes. Here is the movie's biggest flaw; most of these characters actually had bigger parts in the book. Here, they run around and get killed off. Only Rue from District 11 is given any substantial screen time, but it's still not enough. President Snow (Donald Sutherland) is the wicked leader of the totalitarian Capital, and he doesn't want District 12 to win, because it results in the poorer districts (9, 10, 11, 12), to stand up and want to rebel again. The games are overseen by Seneca Crane (Wes Bentley) and the Gamemakers, who add new obstacles in order to make the games exciting. Those two were barely in the first book, so their larger part in this film is very welcome.

Eventually, our two heroes work together to try and win, and I won't spoil anything else. This was a very well done film. The actors are great, especially Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman and Lenny Kravitz as Cinna. The effects are all well done, and the cinematography, which I heard people didn't like, is also pretty good. Director Gary Ross (who sadly isn't directing the next film) did a great job translating the book to the big screen, and it was a success. Hope the sequels are as good as this. "May the odds ever be in your favor".

Final Verdict: 8/10
25 out of 27 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A bad copy of Battle Royale
Isra23 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
A highly americanized version of Battle Royale, with essentially the same impossible happy ending. Capitol's aesthetics, which I find close to Alice in Wonderland's Red Queen (especially that pathetic Effie Trinket), contribute to the childish ambiance of the film. A contrast that, rather than increasing the dramatic power of the film, gives off a typical American smell.

The use of Holocaust films aesthetics in the Districts scenarios is, for my taste, another proof of lack of imagination, of narrative consistency.

However, the great work of Jennifer Lawrence (in contrast with other characters) and the resources of Hollywood can make this film an acceptable piece of entertainment.
24 out of 26 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Truman Show meets Battle royal
tjrmmm-17 April 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I would say the only thing that saves this movie is the acting.Jennifer Lawrence and surprisingly a great performance by Woody Harrelson .Story is predictable .It is like watching bits of ripped off story lines from other movies.From the opening scene from the coal miners daughter ,parts from The Running Man .Robin Hood ,Truman show .This story is just a bunch of other better movies compressed into on Disney like Battle royal.It might be a good thing that Gary Ross will not direct the next movie .This movie had a lot of potential but it fell short of what it could have been.There is no connections with the characters .You do not care about who lives and who dies .
32 out of 36 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
watch Battle Royale instead
pacoulen13 August 2013
This is could easily be a copy of Battle Royale for children. I do not understand why the author of the books would copy so blatantly an outstanding book/film and turn it into this. The Japanese film(which is also based on a book) is absolutely shocking an breathtaking. If you have not seen it yet, please do.

Nonetheless, hunger games is a watchable teen movie. I don't understand why they had to repeat some scenes over and over at the beginning. Its a long film with not much action. The ending seems rushed and very much predictable.

It could be worse. But has been better, in Japanese.
44 out of 52 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A Twilight take on Battle Royale
Cinema Scholar6 April 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Well, it seems that everything has been said already. The film and the book it was based on adapted the premise of a great Japanese film/book called Battle Royale, without ever giving it credit for the original idea.

Despite knowing this beforehand, I still went to see the film expecting something decent. I was quite disappointed when I walked out. For a film that was supposed to be all about teen violence, there seemed to be very little violence in the film. The few scenes depicting violence were toned down and lacked gore.

Perhaps good character development could save this, but, sadly, there was hardly any. All the dialogues seemed forced and monotonous. I was hoping to see the characters converse with each other, but all I saw was actors reading their lines. I like feeling emotions during films, but short of sadness of knowing I just spent $20 and wasted 2.5 hours of my life, I can't remember feeling any.

The only memorable scene for me was the return of the film's heroine to her district, however it was for all the wrong reasons. It struck me as odd that the boy who liked her was all smiles, despite seeing his love interest make out with some nerf herder on the big screen.

My advice is to wait until you can rent this for $2, and even then, only if you really want to see it for yourself. Otherwise, buy a nice Blu-Ray of Battle Royale and see how The Hunger Games should have been made.

6/10 (1 point added out of my respect for Woody Harrelson)
40 out of 47 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
So... was this supposed to be better than BR?
the_wolf_imdb14 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I have read a TON of reviews that told us this is THE THRILLER, the revolution, the super amazing thing. Basically it is only huge victory of marketing over the common sense. To say that the Hunger Games is better than Battle Royale is the same as to say that Coca Cola is better than the best French Champagne, because the Coca Cola sells more bottles and it is better known around the world. Oh, this power of marketing that sells water with sugar and forces the masses think that it is mana directly from the heavens!

To say it simply and honestly: The Hunger Games is huge failure. It is super boring nonsense that tries to play emotional, sad or whatever. It is thriller written by the worst author of the love books you can ever imagine. It is movie where the only real thrill is a bunch of silly costumes of the Capitol People. But even they do look as a collection of weirdos from very cheap music video from 80ties.

I loved Battle Royale for its roughness, political message and pure shock value. There is nothing like that, when there is the first combat scene, it fails miserably. You can basically see only shaking camera. Then there is another long boring part, then again some super short combat messed again by another shaky camera. Then some hallucinations, then some memories, then some other boring sequence. There is a lot of similar movies (TV show that will be survived only by the sole victor) and every single of them is more thrilling. The only thing that would make the movie even more unbearable would be Sandra Bullock in the leading role.

The Hunger Games is a joke, it is less thrilling that any Harry Potter movie. It is basically movie for kids dressed as a thriller. It is definitely not recommended for anyone ho seeks real thriller or really powerful movie. But again: If you are twelve it might be fine for you. The leading actress is pretty so you may be happy just to observe her in various dresses and enjoy when she runs around the woods. There is a bit of tears, flower gathering and shallow morale for these teenage girls who may like this Hunting Barbie kind of stuff. As a male I have suffered horribly however.

One extra point for silly costumes and crazy haircuts. This is probably the only shocking thing in the whole movie.
24 out of 27 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Similarity between movies
gaklinkja1 April 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Does this movie remind you of another? It did for me. Russel Crowe had fantastic performance in that movie, Gladiator. Even though both movies are centuries apart, they have similar ideas. 1. showmanship. you win the crowd, you win your freedom. similar ideas. i would prefer to watch a new idea,theme,entertaining aspect than watch a movie with the same idea as a movie that depicts the same thing. 2. i agree with someone who said studios should remove the person who used the technique of shaking a camera. i would like to always see what is happening, not blurs and fuzzy images. during fight scenes,the camera shakes like an earthquake is happening. it even shakes in the first ten minutes, like someone is extremely nervous. get rid of the people who shake cameras, and bring back the people who want to deliver a quality film that the audience can see without getting headaches. oh, the falling action is short.
24 out of 27 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Poor Adaptation
emptygravity23 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
What a bitter disappointment! In order to explain what is missing from the film, please allow me to describe what I love about the books.

Suzanne Collins creates a moving portrayal of a girl living under a cruel dictatorship. Set against a background of extreme poverty, these books show how the unequal distribution of wealth affects Panem's society. Those living in the wealthy Capitol have so little in common with the destitute people from the Districts that they regard the deaths of District children as entertainment. The violence in The Hunger Games is shocking because it is brutal and unnecessary, yet wholly embraced- even celebrated- by Capitol residents. As for the District tributes, they are not enemies but they kill each other all the same, some reluctantly and others with enthusiasm. As the trilogy progresses, it becomes a compelling commentary on the madness of war and the sad futility of violence. However, these themes are woven into the books in such a way that you may not even notice they're being discussed. You become so immersed in Katniss's world that poverty is a given, and violence a sad but expected part of life.

The film follows the basic storyline but lacks emotional depth. The character development is almost nonexistent and the deaths in the arena are bloodless in every sense of the word. The tributes are little more than walking stereotypes so their deaths have no impact. Even Rue's death- heart-wrenching in the book- is little more than a side note in the movie. If I hadn't read the books, I don't think I would have understood the dynamic between the tributes at all, including the conflicted relationship between Katniss and Peeta. Their romance comes across as cheesy and unconvincing. There is no hint of the bond that grows between them as the story progresses.

Perhaps my biggest criticism of this movie is that no one seems to be going hungry! I cannot believe the filmmakers overlooked this important point. The Capitol's exploitation of the Districts is supposed to be the backdrop for the entire story. When Katniss arrives in the Capitol and observes how food appears at a touch of a button, she cannot understand how Capitol residents fill their time. The majority of her days are consumed with feeding her family. It defines her. Most of the tributes have never had enough to eat and this is a major factor in the Games.

The beginning of the movie seemed promising. The ominous mood in District 12 was just right. It is apparent that the people who live there are exhausted and resigned to their fate. When residents appear for the reaping, they look like cattle being rounded up for slaughter. The Capitol, in contrast, is frightening in it's frenetic artificiality. This juxtaposition was well-done. However, the filmmakers lost me when the tributes entered the arena.

There was no sense of tension. The tributes make all kinds of noise as they move through the woods, seemingly oblivious to the fact that they are being hunted. Katniss stands about ten feet away from Cato as he snaps a boys neck and we are supposed to believe he doesn't see her? The scenes from the control room are pointless and add nothing to the movie. They should have spent that time on character development! Unfortunately, this lack of character development causes the emotional scenes to fall flat. I am astounded this was even possible, given the subject matter, but the overall result lacks intensity and depth.

I will credit Elizabeth Banks with an excellent portrayal of Effie Trinket. She adds humor and a sense of the absurdity of Capitol life. Donald Sutherland also does well as President Snow. Jennifer Lawrence is an adequate Katniss but Josh Hutcherson is terrible as Peeta. He's just not very likable. We see none of his inner strength. Instead, he comes across and whiny and weak. And Wes Bentley seems to be included just to showcase his ability to grow an amazing beard.

One more thing. What happened to Haymitch?! He's supposed to be a self-destructive drunk! His cunning is all the more unexpected because he seems incapable of taking care of himself. I was thrilled when they cast Woody Harrelson and he does well in some parts but it seemed like they had to water down his character to market it to young adults.

This movie had a lot of potential but it fell short in many important ways. A score of 3/10 is pretty harsh but I felt as though the filmmakers kept all of the plot points and none of the meaning. Read the books instead.
823 out of 1,104 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Stealing from Japan. Again.
Clément Lelong27 March 2014
Battle Royal, the Japanese wonder from which "author" Suzanne Collins stole the plot to "write" 'The Hunger Games', was nothing short of a unique piece of art in a sometime dull cinema industry. It was refreshing, brilliantly played, and even had Takeshi Kitano in it.

And then came the cash cow makers, yearning for fast-money franchise. Makes sense though, you wouldn't work for the lesser salary either. Their job is to make huge profits, and this usually comes with a total absence of feeling. Fair enough!

But 'Hunger Games', really... It is the diet version of entertainment. A terrible actress to begin with. And if you have seen American Hustle or the recent X-Men movies, you know it is not ready to change. Jennifer Lawrence has no acting, no understanding of her roles, and to be true, millions out there are still trying to make sense with her Oscar...

Then come the Art Direction... Again, no creativity, everything being taken from more glorious creators from the past. Make-up just looks like Ziggy Stardust had more offspring than we thought. Costumes look like 'The Shindler List' VERY unfortunately met 'Zoolander' with a failed attempt to "Jean-Paul Gaultier" the overall look. And let's not talk about the boring settings... Even if creativity rides along with inspiration, there is a huge step between referencing and raiding. This is clearly the latter.

And yet, there is ONE beacon of hop amidst all this terribly annoying waste of time: the next 'Hunger Game' movie. Stanley Tucci alone gives more credit to the franchise than any other previous actors. Then of course Philip Seymour Hoffman and Julianne Moore. Obviously. Let us just hope that the mediocrity that transpired through the first movies will be washed away by this brilliant cast.
27 out of 31 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Battle Royale Clone
cihilt26 November 2014
Warning: Spoilers
The first one is really copying Battle Royale, has hardly any original ideas.

For instance - Set on a small deserted island - The government chooses a bunch of kids that will kill each other - The winners are the two lovers, who fight against everyone else - There are explosions and disasters that put everyone into the same area - The winner is the last one standing and gets to go free - The deaths are announced to all the competitors - Characters that love killing that are volunteers

The part of Battle Royale where they televise the deaths, this was taken from "The Condemned" low budge film that no one probably watched. Which also pits a number of adults and taps into the concept of televising contestants against each other.

Do we remember, Running Man.
19 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Battle Royal light
Max Renn22 May 2014
Warning: Spoilers
In the past couple of years Hollywood has piled on the films made from best sellers, from Harry Potter to Twilight. It's a safe bet for the movie makers cause if the books were read by millions (mainly teenagers) then it's likely that people will watch the film. Though the Hunger Games was a lot more serious than those two, apart from say the last 2 potter books, with a more brutal theme… if not new… because the successful Japanese Battle Royal was out first but Hunger Games was a best seller so Lions Gate made the film. If someone knows how to make something big out of something small that's LG. They didn't have any mega successes but that's why the made HG. First off we can thank Lions Gate for finding a good director and placing a lot of energy on finding the actors. And they got a good script written. They even paid attention to the budget. Let's talk about the story: The nation of Panem consists of a wealthy Capitol ruling twelve poorer districts. As punishment for a past rebellion, each district must provide two "tributes" - one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 selected by lottery (the "Reaping") - every year to compete in the Hunger Games; they must fight to the death in a vast arena, with the sole survivor rewarded with fame and wealth. In District 12, when Primrose Everdeen is chosen in her first Reaping, her older sister Katniss, an expert archer, volunteers to take her place. Peeta Mellark, a baker's son, is selected as the other district tribute. After the two youngsters find sponsors, train they start the HG. Where there is no friendship or innocence only survival. Though the film doesn't clear up a bunch of things, I'm guessing because of time constraints (what's with the hand signal?) they did build up a cool world. Maybe a strange communist world mixed with Rome? Despite that sometimes you can see that they should have spent more money on this or that the set and the filming is great. The atmosphere is great and the awesome music helps that too. The actors are believable, with co-stars like Donald Sutherland, Lenny Kravitz, Woody Harrelson and Stanley Tucci. And the star Jennifer Lawrence has already proved herself before this film in Winter's Bone and she didn't disappoint here either and was someone you can build a franchise on. The film can be split into two parts, I liked the first part better, the whole build up of the show. The actual game was maybe a little jolty. I didn't really get the "there can only be one", animal, killer instinct feeling as their motivators, and I thought there would be more blood, sweat and one on one fights. They probably tied the directors Gary Ross' hands to tightly, because unfortunately watching what rating it got was important plus if you want more blood watch Battle Royal or the Running Man. All in all you can really feel that LG did everything to make something good out of a book from a recycled story, they were paying attention to how much they could potentially make from the franchise. This worked through most of the film but by the end I just thought it was a good job, but it still is good to see that a YA book adaptation can be done well. I give it a 6/10 with the side note that if you want to see genius watch Battle Royal.
19 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
"Battle Royale" light!
E. Catalan25 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Last night I finally saw "The Hunger Games" and I must confess it's an entertaining movie. Shades of older movies such as "Rollerball", "Logan's Run" and more recently, "Battle Royale" are very present in "Hunger Games". In a distant future North America goes through a war that leaves the nation devastated. The war was caused by internal uprising, not a foreign attack. After a lengthy war the state prevails, but much of the nation is left in ruins. As means to remember this sad period, the state organizes a reality show called 'the hunger games', where each of the 12 districts that started the revolts years ago, must submit a young boy and girl to participate in a televised fight to the death, where only one can become the sole victor. This is where this movie veers closely to the Japanese masterpiece "Battle Royale", with a premise very much alike.

Our heroine comes from district 12, Katniss, played by Jennifer Lawrence. Despite casting a bombshell as a tough warrior, Jennifer pulls it off amazingly well, giving a serious performance.

I understand this movie is a book adaptation and, in my case, I haven't read the books or book so I can't really tell if it's a faithful adaptation. A strange feeling invaded me while watching "The Hunger Games"; it felt like something big was going to happen, a big revelation or the real truth behind such barbaric game. But this revelation never happened and by the time the film ends I'm left with more questions that answers. Unlike "Battle Royale", I developed little sympathy for the rest of the young kids involved in the game. Out of the 24 participants, the movie is designed for the audience to care for only 3 characters: Katniss, Peeta and Rua, that's it. Little or no background is given of the other participants, some of them seemed to really enjoy all the hunting and killing.

Little is said about the president of the nation, portrayed by Donald Sutherland, in what I thought was a waste of talent.

Again, reading the book would probably help me to understand the many plot holes this movie has. I think more could've been done with the movie's premise, a more social commentary, but director Gary Ross apparently chose not to. In the end, "The Hunger Games" is really a light version of "Battle Royale".
19 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Another Rip-Off from an Asian film
ken_martin-932-4301067 April 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Have just been browsing thru reviews for Battle Royalle and i chance upon this review and Yes, Hollywood did make a watered down version, lame.

"A film (Battle Royalle) that the US, would never, could never make...", 15 September 2001

Author: Henry Postan from London, England This film is film that I believed had to be made, and it was only a matter of time before it was. Yet it was a film that the US mainstream could never have conceived making.

Firstly to get it out of the way I will say that I loved this movie, although at no point did I feel comfortable while watching it. It had the power and emotional content, that while not necessarily apparent in the dialogue was visible on screen at all times.

I am truly glad that this film has come out of mainstream Japanese cinema. It would have only been made in the US by independent film- makers who would have basked in the glory of its controversy and felt oh-so-smug that they had created it, while shoving a moral in your face. While I actually have no problem with US Indie film I do feel that a Western background would have comprised on visceral content, and upped the content of cheap moral points.

For those who say the violence was "cartoon-style" and laughable must have been watching a different film. Whilst this film is heavy in black humour I can clearly say that the deaths are shocking in the extreme, and there is no relenting from the beginning to the end. Only occasionally does the camera pan away from the final deed. The only deaths that have a dark humour content to them, are those involving Kitano (Beat Takeshi) and the "lone" vigilante (those who have seen the film will know what I am talking about). Other sections, such as the "Training Video" are equally comedic, and absurd. Yet other deaths are shocking in the extreme, and show how the slightest suspicion can have disastrous consequences for groups that only have trust to keep them together, a truly shocking scene in the Lighthouse reinforces this.

The fact that this film employs Children as the main protagonists of the story is the key to the whole impact of the film. We have all seen films like The Running Man where adults fight adults for survival and it seems that much less shocking, albeit that film was handled in a completely different manner. Children have the innocence that makes the brutality of this film that much more shocking, adults in the same situation would have had the reaction from audiences of cheering at the screen as the hero dispatches yet another victim. This could never and would never have been the case with this film.

To another commentator who felt that this film sticks with you less than Scream, I simply fail to find this to be anywhere close to the truth. The deaths in Scream although bloody are nothing but pastiche of those films that Scream is mimicking, ultimately throwaway deaths that up in brutality in order to out-do the last one that have one or two psychotic perpetrators, who eventually get their comeuppance. In this film their are no victims and besides one exception there are no villains amongst the children. They simply HAVE to play the game or die.

Well I encourage all those who feel they can stomach it to go and see this film or find it available somewhere (as I believe it has been banned in the US). It is not truly a film denouncing the evils of Reality TV or showing us the future of that trend of Broadcasting, that is merely a plot device to place the children in this situation. The nature of the film lies in its deconstruction of Friendships, Trust and our views on Innocence. Go and see it not as a spectator of this BR spectacle but as one of the participants and remember what was important to you when you were at school, and whether any of those rivalries, hatreds and friendships would have been enough for you to decide who deserves to die and who deserves to live.
40 out of 48 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
I loved Battle Royale
angedemo161 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
To be honest, I was hesitant about this movie, mostly because it seemed like a new, toned-down version of Battle Royale. I had never read the books, but I feel that if a movie is good enough to inspire someone, then the book will be good enough to be read.

I want to read the books.

I didn't care for the shaky cam, especially in the beginning, but that's a personal preference of mine. I was highly disturbed that there was a world where children would be allowed to kill each other for sport. I kept wondering "Who would let this happen? Why are their people cheering for these children's deaths and not mourning them?" Rue's death satisfied that question. That was the most beautiful scene in the entire movie. Her death struck a chord with Katniss, an entire district and me. It was wonderful to finally see someone raging at the death of one of these kids, and she was the perfect vessel for it.

The lovey dovey stuff was to be expected, but this movie didn't try to shove it down your throat like a certain sparkling vampire movie did. It was subtle, and not even something of assurance, but sweet.

Just watch the movie. That's all I can say. I'm gonna go read the first book of the series. That's how good this movie is. It inspires the viewer to read and I'm ready for the next installment
46 out of 56 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Shameless ripoff of Battle Royale. Fairly transparent anyway
Benjamin Mole7 September 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I didn't read the book but a movie should be able to stand up on its own. But there were things that you obviously had to read the book to understand. This is a fairly boring movie about a lump of wet newspaper named Katniss who volunteers to be thrown into an arena with a bunch of other children to murder each other for the amusement of the upper class citizens. This movie doesn't rip off Battle Royale so much as it murders it and attempts to wear its skin.

Crazy government act making people fight? Check.

Young innocent character thrown into arena to kill for their life? Check.

Hazards that require characters to keep moving to live? Check.

But this is of course a movie for teenage girls, so it at least drew a nice face on the skin suit so it would scare anyone.

Long story short, a bland movie full of exposition and cliché that should be able to stand on its own and doesn't.
22 out of 25 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Well, it's no Battle Royale...
wandereramor23 May 2012
There's almost nothing to say about a movie like The Hunger Games -- it's been so worked to death to be a successful blockbuster that all of its edges, the things that make a film good or bad, have disappeared. It just exists as a spectacle, a finished product that defies any critical lens.

I could go on about the particulars of the adaptation -- the ridiculousness of the entire Capital setting, or the sometimes disorienting shakycam work, or the great cast of adults patiently playing supporting characters -- or the source material -- the gestures at social commentary, the way that the story protects Katniss from ever having to morally sully herself -- but they all seem to be beside the point. Look. The movie has the things that happened in the book, but in a movie, competently shot and acted, with absolutely no risks taken. If you liked the book, or want to learn what this whole Hunger Games thing is about without having to read the book, you'll probably like this. It's a digestible film, even an enjoyable one, but in the end it's not really interesting or memorable. But to be fair, it wasn't meant to be.
21 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Battle Royale for the young ones
kosmasp31 May 2012
I am referring to the audience watching. Because the original Battle Royale (japanese movie) with a similar theme, was more of an adult version of this movie right here. Having said that, the idea is so good it translates to the screen, even if it is watered down a bit. Plus I was just enjoying the girls moaning and exhaling in general while watching this and finding romance even in the weirdest of situations. Throw in Lenny Kravitz, Elizabeth Banks and the always reliable Stanley Tucci for some acting/weirdness weight and you got yourself a movie.

Apparently though the movie has not covered everything the novel had to offer (which should be no surprise). What should be a surprise to anyone who was living outside the US, is the fact, that this was one of the most anticipated movies in recent history (though I'm more than happy that The Avengers beat them at the total box office of course). Better drama, story and acting than Twilight, hopefully it stays that way and won't dwindle down the road ...
24 out of 28 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Spoilers! But don't worry, it's already predictable and weak.
sam west27 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The start of the movie is so obvious, with a tiny little girl scared out of her wits who has no business being in the Hunger Games, most predictably the lead actresses little sister it was obvious she was going to take her place. Even more less surprising we find out that the boy going with her has a crush on her.

On to 1 hour and 15 minutes of Woody Harrelson being not nearly believable enough as a crude alcoholic become soft hearted, a lot of senseless dinners, a lot of hype for the contestants we know nothing about, absolutely no politics or explanation of what the Hunger Games actually are or how it came about, and an awful underlying message sent out to viewers. "Just be yourself, but do what everyone expects!" Katniss went from being tough, to a weak and sleepy survivor.

Are you bored yet? So, they get thrown out into the Hunger Games, there is absolutely no build up whatsoever. The only person you know is out there is Katniss and the boy who came with her. The rest of the contestants you don't know, hardly have a clue as to what they're capable of, most of them die at the start anyway. Katniss runs away from the initial slaughter, to take a nap. Then she takes more naps. At one point out of the blue she finds herself in the middle of fiery doom, with fireballs launching at her, she barely survives. Well, lucky for her, though we were never told. she has some sponsors save her, with the help of a silent montage of Woody Harrelson laughing with a bunch of poorly dressed somebodies. She gets saved with super healing medicine! She takes more naps.

Later, we find out the boy who has a crush on her is teamed up with the last of the jerks, for some reason, in a game where only one survives, there are people who travel in groups. Okay? Why??? They make some pathetic attempts to kill her, then give up and sleep. Kat makes a new friend who seems to be the most resourceful, herbal expert. She tells her to dump a bunch of insects on them. Then while it takes forever for her to saw a tree limb off, we're told these are evil, dangerous insects that will kill you. How convenient! She gets stung a few times, and conveniently kills a girl with the bow and arrows, which just so happens she's an expert with. How lucky! Too bad she was stung by these insects, now she's going to take more naps and be saved somehow... by a tiny girl who knows herbal remedies. Wish we would have known that! They turn out to be good pals, what a surprise that is. Well, after a lot more boring stuff of not getting to know anything about what is going on, they randomly decide to go find out what the meanies are up to.

Turns out, they gathered all the supplies and somehow found a bunch of land mines to surround the pile. Okay? What's that supposed to do? Apparently, some girl isn't part of their group, she expertly dodges every land mine and gets away with something. So, instead of gathering some supplies, Katniss blows it all up. Then... runs away! Katniss and her little pal find each other, but get attacked, Kat swiftly dodges a spear throw, and sticks the attacker with an arrow. The attacker dies instantly. But finds out poor little girl was stuck by the big spear. Except it takes FOREVER for her to die, we don't know anything about this character, so we don't care, so the long drawn out death is stupid.

Well, Kat runs off alone and finds her boy who has a crush on her. For some reason untold he's not with the group anymore and he's badly injured somehow. Okay, they hobble off after way too long, and then find a cave where it takes way too long for them to get things going. She decides to go off on her own for some supplies, and gets attacked by a girl who takes too long to kill her, but some other guy out of the blue SAVES Katniss... for absolutely NO reason, and then... just leaves her alone! In a game where only one survives, with the perfect opportunity to turn the odds in his favor... just leaves her alone! She goes back, takes a lot more time, and finds out there is only one person left? Really? Thanks for showing us some of the action... but anyway they leave the cave, and the Hunger Game... techs, or IT people or whatever they are, unleash a bunch of dogs that are really big and full of muscle. Kat and her boyfriend OUTRUN all of them to a huge metal platform where they're surrounded by blood thirsty animals... who could easily make the jump to the top of the platform... don't. Instead the last guy, whoever he is, is bloody and looks like he can barely move, beats the crap out of both of them. How he got by the dogs is beyond me... but whoever can do that must be amazing, until, Kat shoots him in the hand with an arrow. This causes him to fall off and get eaten by dogs. But Kat feels sorry for him, and puts him out of his misery.

After this, there is nothing really to note. Nobody says anything important and nobody cares, they just wish it would end, because they don't really know what happened at all. They don't really know anybody but Kat, Donald Sutherland gives some meaningless scornful look, and walks off and the credits roll.
424 out of 588 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
heatherderringer26 June 2014
How is movie about teenagers battling to the death not going to actually show any of the killing?! I paid more attention to it the second time watching and realized that every time someone dies the movie goes silent and cuts away. There is actually only one killing death shown, and it's by accident. The movie did do a good job at not making that noticeable, but it's still a big flaw. And also, why do the tributes have to be teenagers? There was no explanation to that at all. I hope the book explained that somewhat. I thought the end of the tournament was ridiculous. First there could only be one winner, then they announce there can be two, then psych, there can only be one, and then the last two are going to commit suicide, so the government decides two is fine again. If you want to see a far superior movie with practically the same plot then watch Battle Royal. It's subtitled, but it's mostly action anyway so that's not a big deal.
27 out of 32 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
More twilight than Battle Royale
erwin-smolders23 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I have never felt so cheated by a film in my life. This film was advertised as America's answer to Battle Royale. This was a unique opportunity to ponder a dystopian future society, where children are being forced to fight to the death as a means of keeping the population in check. A chilling, thought-provoking concept, which the producers of this film didn't bother to take seriously.

You see, halfway through the film I realized I was watching twilight, not Battle Royale. The real plot: Jennifer Lawrence can't decide between Liam Hemsworth and the albino kid. That's it. That's the story. The rest is just dressing. The Hunger Games is cashing in on Twilight's success, a product to be force-fed to a target audience.

It's a sick world we live in, where children being made to kill each other serves as a back-story to a love-triangle. Hollywood has no shame, and clearly no imagination. This "film", for lack of a better word, is nothing but cheap exploitation, an insult to your intelligence.
27 out of 32 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews