With award season over, movie fans seamlessly movie right into blockbuster season. These are the big budget pure entertainment films that make summer exciting and tend to get blood pumping. Blockbuster movies over the summer tend to be the action movie and comic book movies and phenomenon movies and this year looks like it will have a plethora of choices for everyone.
Blockbuster season got off to a roaring start with the adaptation of the first of the wildly popular trilogy of books, The Hunger Games. While they are already projected to be as popular as the Twilight series and some say possibly even Harry Potter.
Set in the distant future world of Panem which is a remnant of the United States the story revolves around a 16 year old girl named Katniss from the poorest district of Panem known as district 12. In Panem all children aged 12-18 from all districts are entered in a lottery to be chosen to participate in what is known as the hunger games. In the hunger games, one boy and one girl from each district is chosen to play a survival game in a wilderness arena where only one winner emerges and that is the last one living. When Katniss’ younger sister is chosen in her first year of eligibility, Katniss volunteers to take her place in the hunger games. She is then put through various training scenarios and put on somewhat of a media tour in order to gain sponsors to help provide her with needed supplies during the competition. Along with her fellow district 12 tribute, Peeta, she sets out and changes the outcome of the games and the way they are played much to the dismay of those in high power.
Not having read the books I am forced to look at the movie strictly as that, a movie. Hunger Games is a fairly well told story with great background on characters that aid you in gaining feelings for Katniss and Peeta. With a fairly basic look at what a post apocalyptic world may be it still emits it’s own taste as to what upper class is like in Capitol City. While the acting is, like in the majority of blockbuster movies, is nothing to rave about, Jennifer Lawrence solidifies herself as an up and coming star of film. Lawrence already has one academy award nomination under her belt for the haunting and brilliant, Winter’s Bone. She is joined by one of the best actors working right now and commonly underrated, Woody Harrelson. Harrelson feels somewhat out of place in this type of movie but begins to fit the character better as the film goes on.
Hunger Games does a fine job of bringing the intensity of the action that is the hunger games to life. While the movies tends to run a little long for having been a story geared towards a younger audience, the time does move rather rapidly and I suspect this is the film maker doing his best to do true justice to the books.
With some visually stunning scenes and a decent amount of action it is not a movie that will leave you feeling unfulfilled. The film makers leave a fine opening for the follow up film. On a pure entertainment level, Hunger Games doesn’t miss at all. It has all the elements a summer blockbuster looks for and an originality that has lacked in recent years. It does all this with minimal CGI or special effects, although it doesn’t lack in that department for fans of this. Hunger Games has something for everyone and is quite refreshing to not see a vampire or supernatural creations of some kind which tend to be an easy out to try and be creative.
It is the perfect start off for the blockbuster season which looks to be one filled with highly anticipated movies with the likes of The Avengers, Spiderman’s reboot, the final installment of the Twilight series and the crescendo of all these movies looks to be The Dark Knight Rises which most likely will shatter any record any of these movies will set beforehand.