Review: The Hunger Games DVD

I loved this book when it came out, although the sequels weren’t as good. So I was looking forward to the film, but didn’t get chance to see it at the cinema.

The best bits of the film are the elements from the book – the basic premise, the characters and the plot. Special effects are nicely unobtrusive, serving to advance the story rather than take over. For once, the plot has been trimmed sensitively to fit the film, although a lot of the nuances would be hard to understand if you hadn’t read the book or at least heard more about the setting beforehand.

The violence from the book had been sanitised to make it more acceptable to a squeamish 21st-Century audience. There wasn’t enough dirt and squalor in District 12 for my mind, either.

Casting was largely good. Katniss looks too old, which I’d expected as it would be hard to find a sixteen year-old who could carry this part. Haymitch looks too young – although Woody Harrelson is the right age group and plays him fairly well. (Too trim and I wasn’t convinced by his alcoholism.) Donald Sutherland is perfect as President Snow and I look forward to seeing more of him in the next two films.

Overall, a good film.

Personal Score: 4 stars