I’ve consolidates numbers of reviews for “The Hunger Games” together from various sources in one post. Click on the source to read the entire reviews.
The arrow hits an outer circle of the target in The Hunger Games, an amply faithful adaptation ofSuzanne Collins‘ monster young-adult best-seller that could have used a higher blood count in more ways than one. As she did in her breakthrough film Winter’s Bone, Jennifer Lawrenceanchors this futuristic and politicized elaboration of The Most Dangerous Game with impressive gravity and presence, while director Gary Ross gets enough of what matters in the book up on the screen to satisfy its legions of fans worldwide. This Lionsgate release is being positioned as the hottest property for the teen audience since Twilight, and there’s no reason to believe that box office results won’t land roughly in that vaunted vicinity.
The first novel in Suzanne Collins’ bestselling trilogy is a futuristic fight-to-the-death thriller driven by pure survival instinct, but the creative equivalent of that go-for-broke impulse is absent from director Gary Ross’ “The Hunger Games.” Proficient, involving, ever faithful to its source and centered around Jennifer Lawrence’s impressive star turn, this much-anticipated, nearly 2 1/2-hour event picture should satiate fans, entertain the uninitiated and take an early lead among the year’s top-grossing films. Yet in the face of near-certain commercial success, no one seems to have taken the artistic gambles that might have made this respectable adaptation a remarkable one.
The perils of allowing a successful author to adapt their own work for the screen are demonstrated once again in this absorbing but cluttered take on Suzanne Collins’s highly regarded post-apocalyptic teen epic. This is a gripping, impressively mounted action movie – but its adherence to finicky details in the novel means that there’s not enough time to fully explore Collins’s complex world or the characters who inhabit it.
When Lionsgate began the task of adapting The Hunger Games for the screen, the odds were never in its favor. The book was too violent, too well-known and too hard to translate because not only was it about kids killing each other, it would also have to create a whole new world.
I’m happy to report that director/co-writer Gary Ross has made the impossible possible. With The Hunger Games he has made a rousing, highly-emotional, and epic film that will be engaging for new audiences and give chills to true fans. It’s hard to imagine someone making a better adaptation of Suzanne Collins‘ popular novel.
Probably the greatest achievement of The Hunger Games, and there are many, is that in adapting a phenomenally successful teen novel its creative team have produced something that works as a film, not just as an adaptation of a book. There’s no required reading before entering the cinema in order to ‘get it’, and it’s well above the ‘all your favourite bits but with pictures’ business that has become the accepted standard. When a series has sold millions of copies, as Suzanne Collins’ trilogy has, the default position is to produce something that will look just as readers imagined, to show what we were all thinking, rather than offer something nobody had considered. The Hunger Games as a novel has been dissected, expanded and retooled into something intelligent, immersive and powerfully current.