Tuesday, October 15, 2019

MOVIE REVIEWS: THE HUNGER GAMES

March 23, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

On the whole, critics’ reviews of The Hunger Games are overwhelmingly positive — but they’re not without reservations, plenty of them. Kyle Smith in the New York Post, for example, comments that while it “may be derivative … it is engrossing and at times exciting.” But he then goes on to remark, “Plotwise, the movie has problems,” and then ticks off a laundry list of them. Steven Rea combines his mixed reaction in the first sentence of his review in the Philadelphia Inquirer. The Hunger Games, he writes, is “sometimes thrilling, sometimes disturbing, sometimes cartoonishly silly.” Joe Morgenstern in the Wall Street Journal calls it “both a feast of cheesy spectacle and a famine of genuine feeling.” Ann Hornaday in the Washington Post praises the filmmakers for bringing Suzanne Colins’s post-apocalyptic novel “faithfully, if unspectacularly, to life.” And while Scott Bowles in USA Today concludes that “the action is brisk, the acting is solid,” he also observes that “Games paints a raft of characters it can’t support, leaving deaths that should be heartrending more as a pause in the action.” And Roger Ebert, while admiring the movie as “effective entertainment,” expressive disappoint over the way it “avoids the opportunities sci-fi provides for social criticism.” He concludes: “I found the movie too long and deliberate as it negotiated the outskirts of its moral issues.” The performance of Jennifer Lawrence as the 16-year-old heroine, Katniss Everdeen, also comes in for some mixed appraisal. Manohla Dargis in the New York Times comments that she simply looks too old and “womanly” for a 16-year-old (she’s actually 21). “The graver problem,” she goes on, “is a disengaged performance that rarely suggests the terrors Katniss faces, including the fatalism that originally hangs on her like a shroud. What finally saves the character and film both is the image of her on the run, moving relentlessly forward.” But Ty Burr in the Boston Globe writes that “Lawrence convinces as a teen clumsy at love but adept with a bow and arrow. And he sums up: “Movie’s good. Book’s still better.”