"The Hunger Games": What'd You Think?

Senior Contributor
03.26.12 20 Comments

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

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