The Hunger Games (2012) takes place in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian future country called Panem (formerly the United States). Divided into 12 districts, Panem is ruled from The Capitol which controls the residents of each district by controlling the food. Each year a male and female child between the ages of 12 and 18 are chosen from each district to compete in The Hunger Games as a tribute.
I’m going to keep this short and sweet. I’m not one to provide lengthy reviews about movies and since my podcast is primarily about homeschooling and technology I don’t want to spend too much time “off-topic”.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Hunger Games. The spirit of the book and the character-driven story were preserved in the film adaptation. Special effects take a supporting role in this film and they’re used to enhance the drama on the screen. If you think this is a sci-fi, action film then you’re mistaken.
Some scenes didn’t live up to my expectations because my imagination doesn’t have a special effects budget. A few scenes are added to move along some plot points. This is because the book is written in first-person, present tense and there’s no way to convey what’s going on in Katniss’ mind without throwing in a few scenes to move the plot along. Some scenes from the book are removed but it’s necessary due to time limitations. I could have sat in the theater for another hour but I suspect most movie-goers want to get out in around 2 hours.
Content-wise, it sits right in the middle of a PG-13 rating. Some teens might have trouble with the violent images but as a parent you’ll need to judge that for yourself. If your children have seen NCIS or CSI then they won’t have any trouble with the images in The Hunger Games.
Overall, I’d give The Hunger Games 4 out of 5 stars. I felt the special effects could have been a little better and the script writers could have spent about 10-15 more minutes developing Haymitch’s character.
Other reviews that may interest you:
The Spirit Blade Underground’s review of The Hunger Games
Plugged In’s review of The Hunger Games (contains spoilers)