I wanted to read the book The Hunger Games before watching the movie, but I couldn't do it because of a lack of time...and now, I'm glad that it was like that, because if the film The Hunger Games is a faithful reflection of its forced narrative and deficient structure, I wouldn't have liked to waste many days on an equally frustrating book.
In other words, instead of days, watching this film made me waste only 142 minutes. Having said that, I estimate that this movie was designed to the fans of the book.
Before watching The Hunger Games, I expected to find something like a light version of Battle Royale, and it ended up being like that to some point...there isn't too much violence, the social commentary is minimum, and there isn't too much interest in the characters' destiny. Even the great actress Jennifer Lawrence shows difficulties in bringing emotions to her poorly written character.
The screenplay from The Hunger Games is arid and inconsistent, repeating over and over what is obvious, while ignoring everything it should have explained better.
As for the character Peeta, his relationship with the main one evolutes on an abrupt and not very credible way, while there doesn't seem to be any genuine affection between them (Or was that an intentional decision in order to leave the existence of a romantic triangle ambiguous? I don't know!
The book might explain that better; the problem is that I'm watching a movie, not reading a book). As a consequence, Josh Hutcherson is a victim of the same thing which happened to Lawrence: he doesn't have too much to do due to the fact that his character isn't well written.
As for the supporting cast, nobody shows too much interest in their roles, with the exceptions of Woody Harrelson, who brings some life to his character, and Donald Sutherland, bringing energy and conviction as one of the villains.
I had a lot of problems in accepting the exotic futuristic world in which The Hunger Games is developed. I didn't find it credible nor coherent, something which is worsened by the mottled production design which looks like an over-developed combination of an '80s video-clip.
However, I think that the main problem from The Hunger Games resides on the bases of the story. A death combat between children and teenagers required a lot of ingenuity, something which wasn't employed in the screenplay, as well as levels of violence, subversion and intensity which aren't compatible with juvenile cinema.
As a consequence, The Hunger Games constantly sacrificed the realism and the logic in order not to move out from that film niche, and in order to get the censor's approval. The main idea behind this film has potential (something which was proved by Battle Royale and its sequel)
It's a digestible film, even an enjoyable one, but in the end it's not really interesting or memorable. But to be fair, it wasn't meant to be.