First let me say that expectations were high for this movie, but I have to be honest, once I saw the trailers for The Avengers and Promethius I forgot why I was there in the first place. After my wife quickly reminded me, we were transported to the world of Panem.
For a fan of the books, it was quite well done and true to the original. I would easily give it 4 out of 5 stars. My only complaint was that the books seemed to give the reader a much more intimate knowledge of the mind and emotion of the main character, Katniss Everdeen. Throughout her ordeal she shared every thought, hesitation, insecurity and worry. This didn’t seem to completely rise to the surface in the movie- but I don’t know if that’s anyone’s fault or simply the transmission of the written medium to the big screen.
My biggest struggle (not a complaint) was that for the entire two hours and 22 minutes I was uncomfortable, unsettled, and disturbed. While reading the book, I could put it down whenever this feeling arose and watch a little Phineas and Ferb. This always cheered me up; but alas, on this night, Perry the Platapus was busy with Dr. Doofenshmurtz, so I was stuck in Panem. The content of the movie wasn’t anything different from the book, but apparently watching kids struggle to survive in an evil system and eventually strive to kill each other somehow affected my sensibilities. This became obvious when the audience in my auditorium cheered when Thresh saved Katniss by killing young Clove by slamming her against the cornucopia. Did they know what they just applauded? A teenage boy just murdered a teenage girl. A little throw-up came up in my mouth; because I caught myself starting to cheering too. What had this author and director done to me? For this one second I realized, and I recoiled at the thought, that each of us have a little bit of Capitol in us….