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:: The Hunger Games

Those that dislike films such as Harry Potter or Twilight most likely let out a collective groan when they heard that The Hunger Games was set to be released, the teeny bopper hysteria possible didn’t help it either. But to the haters’ disappointment director, Gary Ross has actually made this into a pretty decent film… and he hasn’t been afraid to introduce the popcorn-set to some alternative filmmaking.

Based on the novels by Suzanne Collins The Hunger Games follows Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) a young girl who lives in a world run by a restrictive Government. To make matters worse she lives in District 12, one of the poorer districts of the land.

Each year there is a competition held called The Hunger Games which sees each district forced to place one boy and one girl in a deadly game where the survivor is the only winner. When Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) draws Katniss’ young sister, Primrose’s (Willow Shields) name out of the bowl, Katniss steps forward and volunteers to leave the village she knows and her ‘boyfriend’ Gale (Liam Hemsworth) to take part in The Hunger Games.

Now the young girl who is an expert in hunting must rely on people such as teammate, Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and ‘trainers’ Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) and Cinna (Lenny Kravtiz) to ensure that she will return to her family.

To his credit Ross doesn’t hold back with The Hunger Games. It is a dark story and he carries that mood throughout the film, although that mean that some of the teeny audience are a little shocked at the amount of violence on the screen in front of them. This thankfully brings some reality to the film, although the same can’t be said for some of the dodgy CG that litters the film, especially during the bushfire scene.

The film does provide the audience with some genuine suspenseful moments and once it is established that characters will actually be killed off you are fearful for those around Katniss, and although you do get the feeling that she will survive, you aren’t sure how or what she will have to do in order for that to occur.

However, one big failure in the film is that the script doesn’t really allow those that haven’t read the book get full access to the world at hand. Their technology really isn’t explained which can raise some interesting questions but again Ross must be congratulated for creating a film that takes such a massive swipe to society in general as well as in particular, reality TV.

Acting wise some of the supporting actors are a bit disappointing but to her credit Jennifer Lawrence again absolutely shines, showing those who are yet to see Winter’s Bone what the rest of the world already knew… she is one of the most talented actors going around at the moment. Also stepping up in this film are Lenny Kravitz and Woody Harrelson who are wonderful in their roles and certainly remind Hollywood of their acting abilities. It would also be a crime not to mention a virtually unrecognisable Stanley Tucci) who plays the sleazy Caesar Flickerman remarkably well.

The Hunger Games will surprise quite a few people. It’s is beautifully shot and really puts some of the latter Twilight films to shame. A highly enjoyable action film that produces some truly suspenseful moments.