This is a good movie. It isn’t an action movie, though, which is what I went in expecting. It’s more of a dystopia with bits of survivalist thrown in.
That said, it obviously wasn’t the action that stood out. As someone who read the book, I thought that the main thing the movie version could provide that the book couldn’t was a strong contrast between the opulence of the Capitol and the reality of what the contestants were going through.
We’re introduced to the people in the districts, living in this gritty environment with washed out colors. Here, we get a sense of how awful this is.
And then we get transported to the Capitol, which is vibrant and colorful. And the competition is treated like a game. The movie plays that really well, with a lot of fanfare and spectacle. And the juxtaposition between this spectacle and reality of what is about to happen is one of the more compelling aspects of the movie. There’s always this thread of fear and desperation from our main characters that underline just how crass this all is.
It’s a shame that there wasn’t time for more of these characters to show their personalities. We got little glimpses of them, and I would have liked to see more scenes of many of them. They intrigued me more in the movie than they did in the book, because I got to watch these actors interpret them and play off each other. And the actors did really well with them, from what little I got to see. At least Cato got a good moment in, with that last bit of dialogue he had.
I thought the standouts, in terms of compelling characterizations combined with good acting were Peeta, Glimmer, and Clove. And it was only afterwards that I realized that Glimmer was in the Sarah Connor Chronicles, so no, that’s not why I picked her. She plays her character with charisma for the three lines or so that she had.
I’m going to end by pointing out a video parody of one of the scenes from the movie. Spoilers, obviously.