Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the Capitol of the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. A twisted punishment for a past uprising and an ongoing government intimidation tactic, The Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which "Tributes" must fight with one another until one survivor remains. Sixteen year old Katniss Everdeen volunteers in her younger sister's place to enter the games, and is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy when she's pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives. If she's ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
If you haven't read the book, I would recommend not reading this review, there are a few minor spoilers.
It's very difficult for me to review this movie. I absolutely loved The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, but after reading Mockingjay, I really just couldn't stand the whole series. I wanted this movie to rekindle my love for the series, but I didn't actually think it would. So I went into "The Hunger Games" movie with no expectations (or at least not very high ones). I actually expected to dislike it, and I'm pretty sure that's why I actually ended up enjoying it. I wasn't let down because I didn't let myself get my hopes up. I purposefully didn't re-read the book before the movie because I knew that there would be even more details that I would find and want to see in the movies that inevitably wouldn't be there. I decided to love the book for what it is, and try to separate the movie from it as much as I could. And it worked. I was able to appreciate the movie (even with everything it was missing), and love the book because it gave me even more of the story. There were a few things that disappointed me though, like how the whole movie felt sort of rushed (especially the ending), how she never receives the bread from district 11, and how her relationship with Peeta seemed very shallow. But, overall I thought it was well done, I felt like Rue's death was best-adapted scene from the book, I thought that Jennifer Lawrence was a better Katniss than I though she would be, and the outfits of everyone in the capitol were absolutely fabulous. I wish they would have spent a little more time on the actual Games, and less time getting ready, but even so, it was very entertaining, and probably my favorite book-to-movie adaptation (other than the first three "Harry Potter" movies of course), and I would definitely recommend it!