Should you go see The Hunger Games? Please. Like it even matters what we say next. But if you don’t happen to be the kind of person who can name the exports of all 12 districts of Panem followed by a flawless rendition of “The Weeping Call,” keep reading.
We’ve seen the most hyped film of the year and compiled this handy review: Simply look through the categories below, determine which one applies to you, and your own custom review of The Hunger Games will follow!
KNOW WHO WISHES HE WERE IN THE HUNGER GAMES? This Guy
Option 1: You Are…a Superfan! You read all three Hunger Games novels in five hours or less, and then you read them again.
This film will not disappoint—much. Lead actress Jennifer Lawrence is at her best when she’s miserable, and her character is not a happy survivalist as she’s tossed into a giant outdoor cage match to the death. (After 3 minutes, you won’t be able to imagine anyone else playing Katniss Everdeen, trust.)
Director Gary Ross actually outpaces the breathless clip of Suzanne Collins‘ novel. He also takes pains to honor many of the smallest details: Cinna’s gold eyeliner, Katniss’s braid, Effie Trinket’s cotton-candy-colored wigs.
But Ross does diverge from Collins’s beloved novel in at least three key points, including the jarring climax at the Cornucopia. So if you’re the kind of person who insists on slavish retellings of novels on the big screen, stay home.
Your Grade: B
* * *
Option 2: You Are…Kind of a Fan! The book was OK, but the movie sounds more intriguing.
If you like the notion of two dozen big-screen teenagers clobbering each other with flying knives out in the wilderness (and, really, who doesn’t?) this hotly-paced flick is definitely for you.
Ross delivers the dystopian excitement in high style, mixing naturalistic action with retro-futuristic production design that is sure to draw Oscar honors.
A few actors turn in less-than-solid performances, namely Woody Harrelson and the barely-seen Liam Hemsworth, but Lawrence, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland and Lenny Kravitz all bring their A-games to the arena.
Your Grade: A
* * *
NEED MORE LIAM HEMSWORTH? Fine. Here.
Option 3: You Are…Skeptical! You hated the books, but you love dystopian action movies.
Give the movie a shot, young sociopath. Of course, Collins’ book doesn’t always do a bang-up job of selling a post-apocalyptic future. But the movie does.
Almost every scene is twisted or disturbing in its own very special way. Ross’ vision of the tribute training hall, for example, evokes a nightmare gym class. Whenever possible, Ross turns to handheld cameras, documentary-style techniques and POV shots to elevate Collins’ arguably uneven book into a shockingly buyable tale of kill or be killed.
Even the color palette at the Capitol, with its cool or acid tones, is designed to unnerve, and, unless you’re a serial killer yourself, unnerved you will be.
Ross also amps up Collins’ obvious condemnation of our current obsession with reality TV, making the movie, perhaps, even more relevant right now than the novels.
Your Grade: B+
* * *
Option 4: You Are…a Normal Person! You just want an alternative to Twilight, alreadys.
Take comfort. There are no vampires, brooding or otherwise. No teenage girls sitting in the same room for months after being dumped. No windbag arguments about who needs to protect whom.
There’s, like, killing going on here, as in, nearly a dozen teenagers cutting each other down in a matter of minutes, and all over a few backpacks and some water canteens.
There are kids getting mauled by genetically enhanced bees; kids getting trapped in nets and gutted with projectiles; kids cradling dinner rolls because they’re just that hungry. If you don’t see that as the antithesis of Twilight, we can’t help you.
In fact, the only aspect of The Hunger Games that remotely resembles Twilight is its love triangle. And none of these kids from District 12 are about to start sparkling in the sun. It’s just too darned dangerous.
Your Grade: A
So which kind of fan are you?
KATNISS SURE CLEANS UP NICELY: Check Out Our Photos of the Big Premiere!
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