I’ll be sitting down with The Hunger Games about 90 minutes hence, but right now I’m having a WTF reaction to the current Rotten Tomatoes reviews. It’s running 100% as we speak, although a critic friend who’s seen it says this doesn’t calculate. “[The film] doesn’t want to make you poke your eyes with scissors or anything,” he says, “but come on.” So what happened to “toned down for young female demo” and “good enough, somewhat chickenshit“?
“A thrilling, intelligent, deeply-felt movie that does not play by the typical rules of franchise building in modern Hollywood.” — Drew McWeeny, Hitfix. “As thrilling and smart as it is terrifying. There have been a number of big-gun literary series brought to screen over the past decade. This slays them all.” — Olly Richards, Empire. “As action, as allegory, as cinema, The Hunger Games is the best American science-fiction film since The Matrix.” — James Rocchi, Boxoffice. “The Hunger Games is that rarest of beasts: a Hollywood action blockbuster that is smart, taut and knotty.” — Xan Brooks, Guardian.
My critic pally says it’s “one of those unimaginative, let’s-recreate-exactly-what-was-on-the-page-while-watching-the-PG13-rating-and-count-our-money adaptations. I’m surprised Chris Columbus didn’t direct it. Lifeless, turgid, rote, irritating…whatever one may say of, say, James Cameron or Oliver Stone, they have never made a movie as crass and calculating as this one.”