Small order of business: if you’re about to comment to whine about how it’s just a “Battle Royale” rip-off, read this.
Now, we know what most of America thought: racking up $155 million in three days is impressive no matter when you do it, but especially in late March: that’s the third best opening of a movie of all time. And shockingly, it did pretty well with critics, too.
And what’d we think?
We thought it was a mixed bag, trending more towards the good than the bad.
Amazingly, Gary Ross, a screenwriter and director with all the subtlety of a brick through a window (see “Pleasantville” or, better, don’t), is not the problem here. If anything, the key problem is that it’s a little too faithful to the books: if you’ve read them, you know they’re heavily reliant on Katniss’ internal monologue and point of view, and that makes some moments tricky to put on screen. Similarly, the pacing sticks a bit too faithfully to the book: what works on page can plod a bit onscreen.
But, and this is what grabbed our attention the most, this is serious. There’s not a single campy moment in the entire film.
In short, it’s good. It’s really good. If you haven’t seen it, it’s well worth doing so: with that opening weekend, odds are pretty good you’ll have plenty of chances.
image courtesy Lionsgate