Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy is a literary sensation. The good news now coming out of Panem, both for those who already know just how brutal the Games become and those who are new to the dystopian tale, is that the movie adaptation knows how to play too.
This Hunger Games is a muscular, honorable, unflinching translation of Collins' vision. It's brutal where it needs to be, particularly when children fight and bleed. It conveys both the miseries of the oppressed, represented by the poorly fed and clothed citizens of Panem's 12 suffering districts, and the rotted values of the oppressors, evident in the gaudy decadence of those who live in the Capitol. Best of all, the movie effectively showcases the allure of the story's remarkable, kick-ass 16-year-old heroine, Katniss Everdeen.The only rather unpleasant commentary made by EW is regarding the fan favorite character Peeta Mellark played by Josh Hutcherson.
Fans of the book and moviegoers coming to the story fresh may reach different conclusions about the effectiveness of Josh Hutcherson as Peeta, the baker's son from District 12 who is at once Katniss' competitor and the boy who loves her. In the book, interesting edges rough up his niceness; he's not quite so easy to peg. But to these eyes, on screen he's been sanded down to a generic sensitive good guy, so much so that it's difficult to understand why Katniss is prickly around him. Meanwhile, so little is seen of Liam Hemsworth as Gale, Katniss' soul mate/fellow hunter, in this first episode that the uninitiated might not pay attention to the third angle of the story's romantic triangle — about the only element this high-quality pop culture phenomenon has in common with the swoons of Twilight.What did you guys think of their review? Do you agree with what they had to say?
You can read the full review on Entertainment Weekly or grab their new edition of the magazine available now.