TheCloser79’s review published on Letterboxd:
For a long time I danced on tiptoe around "The Hunger Games". I didn't need a kiddie version of "Battle Royale". At least not in such a hurry as the masses that ran to the cinema. Finally made up for it ... and what can I say: some prejudices have been confirmed, others have been pleasantly weakened. Overall, there remains a gentle sci-fi actioner who manages to tailor a brutal premise to as broad an audience as possible. Neat. Lookable. No more. Not less. As expected, the Asian model cannot be reached for a second, but the fans of the book template get a few wishes fulfilled. They would have loved these hunger games at "Twilight" level too, but making a solid film (with potential for improvement) does no harm ...
The adult models are clear. The young target group as well. The question was how these two poles can be reconciled. Tada. It works out. To some extent. It is at least enough for the worth seeing cornerstone of an epic series. Also detached from the success and the numerous imitators ("Maze Runner", "Divergent" etc.), which from a certain point of view prove the franchise right. Jennifer Lawrence, who I don't really like very much, seems to be composed for this role. She IS Katniss. In addition, the futuristic world like "Fahrenheit 451" appeals to me and still offers a lot of possibilities.
Apart from the plagiarism outcry, there is little to be said against the inhumane, violent situation. And copies of this human hunt have existed in all forms, countries and hardships for decades. However, the annoying wobble camera and the toothless, often even imageless fights and kills cannot be talked good about. Every time the dull cannon in the distance "honors" another dead man, whose death you have to think of, this is a missed opportunity. "The Hunger Games" is a softened Hollywood product. But it fulfills its (admittedly low) goals quite bravely. It could have been so much worse. And in order to prepare the next generation for "The Running Man" or "Hard Target" or to make them aware of them in the first place, you are happy to accept that.
Just a "Battle Royale" for teenagers? That's right. It still works quite well. I like the futuristic World Building and JLaw in their prime role. Really strong in his best moments, dangerously close to "Twilight" in his weakest.