Yes, 87 percent of critics Rottentomatoes.com like it, and yes, it broke a record with $19.7 million from midnight showings across the country last night.
But according to our review of The Hunger Games, written by Melissa Anderson, while the film rages against our culture (especially its fixation on violence and reality TV), it ends up becoming part of the problem.
Anderson does note that the film, about a postapocalyptic future in which the government requires teenagers to fight to the death, “moves briskly, continuously drawing us in,” and that star Jennifer Lawrence “has a particular gift for exuding iron determination and dead-eyed exhaustion.”
But “it is impossible for the movie to ever hope to match the book's fury,” she writes, noting that the book's “rage and despair are diluted here,” as director Gary Ross and his designers are “focusing too much on the high-tech gimmickry.”
She also writes that “significant set pieces from Collins' novel look laughably pitiful when realized on-screen,” noting that one building “resembles a Frank Gehry-designed titanium turd.”