Adam's Full Review of 'The Hunger Games' Wednesday 21 March, 2012
We posted our initial, spoiler-free reactions a few days ago, and now Adam is here with his full review of the movie! Please read his review at your own risk, as it contains what some people might view as “spoilers.” We’ve included the first half of Adam’s beautifully written review here; you can read the rest of it over at Picktainment.
Also, we’d like to congratulate The Hunger Games on having maintained a 90% or above over at Rotten Tomatoes since the reviews started pouring in late last week. We’re so proud!
So, without further ado, here is Adam’s review!
Movie Review: ‘The Hunger Games’ is a Cinematic Gem
By Adam Spunberg
I have been hosting a Hunger Games podcast for the past year with fellow Picktainment writer Savanna New, ravenously anticipating the release of what I hoped to be a juggernaut film. At times, it felt like we had as much on the line as Lionsgate, and the success – or failure – of this Suzanne Collins adaptation would determine whether we flushed months of our lives away or trumpeted the right horse. Let me shout this from the rooftops and spires, balconies and hovercrafts, in boisterous tones melted together with excitement and relief: The Hunger Games is everything I ever hoped, imagined, and dreamed, and as it scorches through the world, wreaking box-office mayhem and absorbing unprecedented critical adulation, let it delight and transform you the way it has me.
And let me be clear about one thing, which cannot be overstated enough: The Hunger Games is NOT Twilight. It is far, far better in pretty much every category, which is a testament to the extraordinary vision of Collins and Gary Ross. Rather than tickle the viewers with teeny-bopper romance and a cotton candy script, the creative geniuses at Lionsgate have produced an emotionally exhausting, profoundly disturbing, heart-in-your-throat saga of exceptional depth and inspiration. You will be without breath. You will feel mentally electrocuted. You will rush to the theater to see it all over again, wishing the next installment could somehow be expedited by 20 months.
The movie does right in so many ways, it’s hard to know where to start praising its magnificence. If you don’t know the story, Katniss Everdeen is born into a dystopian North America, where a totalitarian Capitol forces twelve girls and twelve boys to compete in an annual event called The Hunger Games. Twenty-four tributes go in – one comes out. Sounds like a grisly version of Highlander or Karate Kid, right? Should be lots of crazy fight sequences, leading to an ultimate showdown of good vs. evil, right? And Katniss, the underdog, will find some way to win with sappy music in the background and everyone leaving the theater feeling like they just watched the Mighty Ducks take down some bigger, more touted team, right?
Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! That’s why this film is so exceptional. It does NOT take you for a formulaic ride, relying on manipulative plotting and cheap thrills. There is something much grander and significant beneath the surface – an enduring question of “Why?” The violence is never celebrated or even showcased. Ross uses it as a backdrop to blast viewers with a gripping message about the frightening state of human nature and the enduring spirit that bleeds, coughs, vomits “SURVIVE!” Katniss is as inspiring a fictional heroine as there ever has been, and what makes her so remarkable is how strangely she fits the prototype. Like Frodo, sometimes it’s the people who go about their business with understated resolve who galvanize the world.