CinemaCl🎃wn’s review published on Letterboxd:
Set in a dystopian future where a totalitarian government is in charge, The Hunger Games presents an annual event in which a boy & girl are chosen from each of the 12 districts to compete against each other until only one survives in the end to be crowned as the winner. I had no idea of what this film was about but now that I've seen it, The Hunger Games looks like a toned down version of the violent Japanese film, Battle Royale that is clearly targeted at a younger audience & although it had the capability to be a brilliant adventure, it eventually isn't due to many noticeable flaws.
What works in favour of this film is its theme, a darker tone than its counterparts & Jennifer Lawrence who turns out to be the thread that holds this movie together as Katniss Everdeen and even though her character never fleshes out as much as we would've liked, it still maintains a level that can be appreciated. What doesn't work is that the story had the scope to give us the entertainment that's worth our time & money but those elements are indeed very much toned down; maybe for monetary reasons or whatever. The characters never develop throughout the story, the production design, costumes, makeup etc felt cartoony & the acting from everyone else was mediocre & lacked depth.
On an overall scale, The Hunger Games manages to be decently entertaining but entertaining nonetheless, is briskly paced, well-carried by Lawrence & presents an intriguing view of a dystopian society. There are setbacks & falls along the road but it manages to crawl by all of it to come out on the other side & compared to its genre counterparts, is a much better beginning than what others have offered us until now but there is also a lot of things that this film can improve upon & it will be interesting to see if it learns from its mistakes in the upcoming sequels. All in all, The Hunger Games is a good film but had the potential to be even better; an opportunity that went wasted.