HUNGER GAMES - The Odds Are 23 to 1
THE HUNGER GAMES (sci-fi adventure)
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci, Wes Bentley, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Lennie Kravitz and Willow Shields
Director: Gary Ross
Screenplay: Gary Ross, Suzanne Collins and Billy Ray based on the novel by Collins
Time: 141 mins
Rating: * * 1/2 (out of 4)
|Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen|
Let me say that a little patience is required of viewers who have not read the book.
|Elizabeth Banks and Jennifer Lawrence|
In District 12, however, when a petite and delicate Primrose Everdeen (Willow Shields) is picked, her older sister Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers in her place. She is joined in the competition by Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), a baker's son who has a secret crush on Katniss. For her district, Katniss holds more hope for victory than even Peeta because she often hunts with bow and arrow to supplement her family and is more adept at surviving the Games held in the wilds outside the Capital - and with hidden cameras all over.
Other notables in the cast are Woody Harrelson who provides the requisite humour as Katniss' mentor Haymitch; an unrecognisable Elizabeth Banks as the giddy-headed PR girl Effie; and the dashing Liam Hemsworth as Katniss' other love interest Gale Hawthorne. Lots of females in the audience would clamour to see more of Gale but he has limited scenes in this first instalment. Hutcherson (below) is relegated to second-fiddle both in his character and in his stature at the Games.
I have not read the book but I have been told that director Gary Ross is staunchly faithful to the book. Moreover, author Collins is also one of the screen-writers. This may explain the conspicuous lack of vision and imagination that aided the success of the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings series. Indeed, I had expected more from Hunger Games besides just a predictable gladiatorial adventure with a reluctant love story.
And like the "May the Force Be With You" slogan in Star Wars, here, it is "May the odds be ever in your favour" - although the odds are 23-to-one that each will end up dead.
THE LOWDOWN: A rather manipulative film, the odds are definitely not in your favour.