Everyone has that one friend who after any movie simply feels the overwhelming need to say “the book was better” even though no one wants to hear it or cares.
Well I’m that friend so lets talk about movies and how they stack up to their source material.
Basically: The Hunger Games is a series of of novels by Suzanne Collins which follows Katniss Everdeen as she navigates the horrible trials set before her in a dystopian future where the wealthy force their workforce to compete in an annual death arena for their entertainment. If you don’t know anything about the hunger games I have to assume you live under a rock because it was a huge cultural phenomenon from 2012 onward. The novel/movie series is like an american version of Battle Royale where instead of Beat Takeshi, there’s a weird love triangle.
It’s a pretty intense novel which plays with a lot of heavy themes. I remember finishing this book in ~2 days when I was 13 so it’s absolutely no surprise that it got picked up for a movie. It’s gripping at every turn. Not exactly unique in concept, but very unique in execution.
So how does the movie stack up?: This one is actually really good. Yeah no kidding. The first thing I look for in these reviews is whether the plot and it’s major elements are kept intact. Staying faithful is key to any adaptation, but because of the density of information in written word, or because most novels tell more story than can be contained in ~2 hours, it’s nearly impossible to remain 100% true. The point is if you got the main story across without really messing it up. Hunger Games does a really excellent job of this. Some elements are naturally changed but overall the story is still all there. This is one of those rare moments where I wouldn’t get cheesed at people who only watched the movie.
Not because I think the movie is that good, but just because it’s good enough and I don’t care enough to die on the Hunger Games hill.
P.S I don’t have anything to back this up but I think you could probably draw a straight line from Battle Royale to Hunger Games to Fortnite. Just saying.