Alex's Movie Corner’s review published on Letterboxd:
Whilst I do have a couple of glaring issues with The Hunger Games, it’s a very enjoyable film with a terrific lead performance from Jennifer Lawrence.
Unlike most reviews, I’ll start with the negatives on this one. Firstly, the camera-work was terrible in a lot of scenes. There was way too much shaky-cam and it often looked like a found-footage film. This was very off-putting, as I much prefer longer and smoother camera shots.
My second major issue is the pacing. The first act is fine, but the second act is where most of my problems lie. The build up to The Hunger Games was too long, especially when they were really emphasising the game show elements. The pacing was slightly improved in the third act, but it still wasn’t perfect. Too much time was spent on trivial things that I didn’t really care about, and not enough time was spent with Katniss actually participating in the games.
That was another problem; Katniss was in the game, but she was far more defensive than offensive. I get that they didn’t want to make the main character ruthless, but it didn’t feel as gritty as it should have been.
However, with all of that aside, I can’t stress enough that The Hunger Games is a ton of fun. There are also some really nice touches to the film which add layers, such as the conversation that Katniss has with Prim before the reaping and how that ties in to later events.
The musical score is also very effective in certain scenes because it subtly indicates how characters are feeling without any dialogue needing to be spoken.
The Hunger Games has a very powerful moment in the third act. I don’t want to spoil it for the few who don’t know, but it involves the relationship between Katniss and Rue and it ended in a very emotional way.
Speaking of powerful moments, the resolution to the games was very impactful.
Overall, I do have some issues with The Hunger Games and it’s definitely not my favourite in the franchise, but it’s entertaining from start to finish and I bought into the characters of Katniss and Peeta. If you haven’t seen it, I’d definitely recommend it.