The critics say: YES!!!
The Hunger Games is the new teen film franchise to rival the Twilight series and so far there's been a positive response from the critics.
The latest epic teen film franchise is The Hunger Games, to be released on March 21. Starring Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence, it is set in a futuristic North America where contestants are chosen to battle to the death in a competition of brain and brawn. There has been huge hype around the film in the US and the UK but official reviews of the film were released this morning and based on these, the film is set to satisfy expectations.
The Telegraph's Robbie Collin contrasts the recent Twilight films with the new movie but says it's The Hunger Games' Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence) who comes out on top: "Both teenage heroines journey deep into the woods at dusk, but while Twilight's Bella returns flanked by bickering supernatural beefcake, Katniss emerges alone, smeared in blood and muck and gnawing on the charred remains of a spatchcocked squirrel."
On the star herself: "You can’t take your eyes off Jennifer Lawrence as the ox-hearted, mud-freckled Katniss, who volunteers as her district’s female Games contestant to save her younger sister from the draft. She’s even more compelling here than she was in the 2010 indie Winter’s Bone, a strikingly similar role for which she was nominated for an Oscar."
In all it's a five star rave: "The Hunger Games is an essential science fiction film for our times; perhaps the essential science fiction film of our times. Whatever your age, it demands to be devoured."
Elsewhere Total Film said Jennifer Lawrence 'Hits the bullseye', giving the film four stars: "What’s remarkable is the lack of cheese. Tacky effects, corny dialogue and creaky performances are all shown the door. We repeat: not the new Twilight."
The Hollywood Reporter also has only good things to say about Lawrence but also praises director Gary Ross, saying he: "gets enough of what matters in the book up on the screen to satisfy its legions of fans worldwide."
Screen Daily wishes that the film had "better integrated its different tones and agendas." Continuing: "the film works best in its matter-of-fact depiction of a nightmare society in which materialism and bloodlust have escalated – not to mention people’s thirst for reality-based entertainment."
But pays tribute to Lawrence's performance, saying:"Lawrence, who auditioned brilliantly for this role with her even rawer turn in "Winter's Bone," again projects a heart-rending combo of vulnerability, grit and soul while convincingly playing several years her junior. The camera remains so glued to her every expression and gesture that no one else, save perhaps Lenny Kravitz as Katniss' suave professional stylist, is given the opportunity to hold the screen against her."
Variety points out that "The questions raised here, regarding the morality of violence as entertainment and the brutality of pitting children against each other, have been addressed before, and to more potent effect, in films like "Series 7: The Contenders" and the shockingly violent Japanese actioner "Battle Royale."
There's more praise for Ross from Den of Geek: "Ross has done more than churn out a faithful adaptation of the book. His vision of the world of The Hunger Games is bigger, scarier, darker, and more political than the books ever dared to be."
More reviews from Rotten Tomatoes:
Overall, this is a solid take on the material, but it could have done with a little less narrative incident and a little more cinematic sparkle.
The Hunger Games certainly doesn't lack for ambition, and although it's mostly successful, one can't help wishing the film could have better integrated its different tones and agendas.
Hunger Games has such a strong narrative structure, built-in forward movement and compelling central character that it can't go far wrong.
We repeat: not the new Twilight. So ya'll can stop with that rn.