The Hunger GamesI missed the cinematic release of The Hunger Games and in all honesty, I knew next to nothing about the trilogy of novels by Suzanne Collins on which this film was adapted from.

Naturally when the film came out and made a bucket load of cash, I became more aware of it. After reading the synopsis I thought to myself “that sounds very Battle Royale”. The next thought that crossed my mind was “I’m a bit skint now, so I’ll wait for DVD”

And here I am, having just watched The Hunger Games on DVD my thoughts kind of remain the same. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it.

For those of you that are worse than me at keeping up to date with what the kids are enjoying these days, The Hunger Games is set in a future where North America no longer exists and after a traumatic uprising, the powers that be have established a new land called Panem.

With a rich capital and 12 neglected districts around it, the balance of power is maintained by The Hunger Games, where each year a boy and girl from each district is nominated to take part.

The Hunger Games themselves are a violent battle to the death, which are naturally broadcast across Panem as a form of entertainment.

Leading the film is Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, a girl from District 12 who nominates herself to spare her younger sister the trauma and most certain death from The Hunger Games.

From here she heads off to the capital along with the other contestants where she meets a whole host of strange looking characters, where she is groomed for media presentation and turned into a celebrity.

It’s clear that Suzanne Collin’s source material is having a good stab at making some form of social commentary here, as the comparisons between this element of the story and reality TV shows of the likes of The X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent are clear as day.

It was during this part of the film as well, that I realised how insane the costume design was. Featuring some of the most garish looking outfits since Jean Paul Gaultier’s work on The Fifth Element, most of the characters look downright bonkers.

If there is one thing about the film that didn’t gel with me, it’s the cinematography during the action scenes once games actually kick off. Featuring plenty of shaky camera work and quick cuts, I couldn’t help feeling a little frustrated at not being able to see the action unfold in front of me.

That all said, there was a lot I enjoyed about The Hunger Games. Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson are solid enough leads and with a supporting cast that includes memorable turns from the likes of Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci and bizarrely Lenny Kravitz, what’s not to like.

Extras:

• “The World is Watching: Making of The Hunger Games” – an eight-part documentary covering the “making of” the film in all aspects from the pre-production process all the way through the theatrical release and fan reactions
• “Game Maker: Suzanne Collins and The Hunger Games Phenomenon” featurette
• “Letters from the Rose Garden” featurette – insights from Donald Sutherland on the development of his role as President Snow
• “Controlling the Games” featurette – stories and concepts behind creating the control center
• “A Conversation with Gary Ross and Elvis Mitchell”
• Propaganda Film (in its entirety)
• Marketing Archive

About The Author

Colin lives in south west London. Looks like a hobbit and has been watching films ever since he saw Return of the Jedi at the age of 3. You can follow Colin on Twitter @obicolkenobi.