‘The Hunger Games’: a brutally delicious, theatrical feast

“The Hunger Games” is the perfect combination of action and emotion, with a tasteful amount of brutality.

Panem, the ruins of North America, is divided into 12 districts. A boy and girl between the ages of 12 and 18, called tributes, are picked from each of the districts, in a ceremony called the reaping, to compete in the yearly hunger games. The hunger games force the tributes to fight to the death until only one participant remains.

The hunger games are used as punishment for a rebellion and a reminder to the districts that the government is in control.

Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) lives in poor, outlying District 12. Katniss has to protect and provide for her sister Primrose (Willow Shields) after the death of their father left their mother in a deep depression. Primrose has nightmares of being chosen as one of the district’s tributes, and her nightmares turn into a reality at the Reaping for the 74th annual hunger games.

Overwhelmed with the urge to protect her sister, Katniss courageously volunteers as tribute. Paired with Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), Katniss is thrust into a fight for her life.

Based on the first novel of Suzanne Collins’ sci-fi series, “The Hunger Games” moves slowly in the beginning. Getting around to the actual games takes an almost uncomfortably long time.

Scenes building up to the reaping and preparing for the hunger games creep by, but the intensity and action of the latter part of the film outweigh the boredom of the beginning scenes.

The performances of Lawrence and Hutcherson are admirable. Hutcherson’s role in “The Hunger Games” majorly outshines his role in “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.” Lawrence’s performance in the more intense and action packed scenes shines, but she lacks emotion in the romantic scenes.

Supporting roles were cast well and added what was needed from the characters and more.

Woody Harrelson plays the District 12 tributes’ mentor, Haymitch, and his role of the drunken celebrity is basically flawless.

Lenny Kravitz portrays Cinna, the stylist for the Tributes. Kravitz, with his already glamorous rock ‘n’ roll reputation, adds the perfect amount of glam to the screen.

The camera movements are jerky a majority of the time, which has the potential to add intensity to scenes, but it comes across as annoying most of the film.

Awkward close ups on some of the actor’s faces seem like a poor attempt at capturing artist shots. With the actor’s face being off center and slightly out of focus, the close ups only manage to look terribly cliché.

The movie is insanely intense and filled with emotion, and it gives high hopes for the future installments.

“The Hunger Games” is rated PG-13 for intense violent thematic material and disturbing images.