Yes, time for another film trilogy phenomenon based on a book series. But try to ignore all the comparisons to Twilight (they have nothing in common except a love triangle and a teen audience) and Battle Royale (the violence in Hunger Games ain’t nothing compared to Battle), and consider The Hunger Games on its own merits.
It’s the future, and the former US is now separated into the flamboyant Capitol (think Lady Gaga) and 12 surrounding districts (they eat rats there). Every year a boy and a girl are picked from each district to compete as a tribute in the Hunger Games – a fight to the death with only one victor, intended to remind the districts of the importance of falling in line. Oh yeah, and it’s filmed and televised for the Capitol to revel in. Cut to: The kids of District 12 – the strong, capable but stubborn Katniss; the opinionated and dreamy Gale; and the sweet, idealistic and dedicated Peeta.
For me the casting was exceptional, and Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss) has quickly become a favourite. There was too much handheld camerawork for my liking, but overall it was effective in setting the mood (and ensuring that the violence was implied but not explicit).
Overall, The Hunger Games is entertaining and interesting, if cheesy at times. It won’t be for everyone, but at least there isn’t a character called Renesme.