Director: Gary Ross
Featuring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson
Genre: Adventure, Sci-Fi
Age Rating: 12A
Running Time: 142 Minutes
It took me just under 3 years to get into the ‘Hunger Games’ craze last night, and I have to say it is a shame that I missed out on this on the big screen. The first feature in the ‘quadrilogy’ tells us the tale of the annual entertainment event, a televised fight-to-the-death, known as The Hunger Games.
Set in a dystopian future, where a nation is now divided into 12 districts and led by the Capitol, this harsh concept immediately hits home and draws parallels with modern-day ‘junk television’ notions like Big Brother, where a large percentage of the general public are currently spending their evenings watching a group of housemates live, argue, cheat and lie to each other, classing it simply as entertainment. The behaviour you see in this film, is an extension of that idea, beating others in order to earn money (albeit for a much better cause than some wannabe celebrities), but the need for murder being the obstacle.
A boy and a girl between the ages of 12-18 are picked at random to represent each district in the games, unless individuals choose to volunteer themselves. This is the path of Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), a 16-year-old girl from District 12, who steps up to take place of her younger daughter who was picked at random. She joins Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), who she has some history with already, and who spends the film falling for Katniss more and more in front of the world that is watching.
The film is thrilling, frightening, and also brutal at times; if you have a fear of bees already, imagine a genetically enhanced swarm of bees falling from a tree and let your imagine run away with you! It surprised me at just how intense and scary at time it was for a 12A and therefore could be, perhaps why I enjoyed it so much.
Both young, then up-and-coming stars of Hollywood put in great performances, not only winning the hearts of the world they live in, but the viewers of the film. You can understand why a fight for freedom, families and friends registered so well with the young and old generations and why The Hunger Games: Mockinjay, Part 2 (2015) is one of the most eagerly anticipated blockbusters this year.
Recommendation: Worth a watch on Blu-Ray if you have never seen it before, make sure you watch the rest before October 2015! That is my aim and hopefully I’ll be back with a Catching Fire (2013) review fairly soon!