The Hunger Games ★★★★
The quadrilogy of films based on the dystopian young adult novels by Suzanne Collins climaxed with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 last November, a pretty decisive finale that retired the franchise on a $2.9 billion worldwide pension pot. Umpteen copycats, both literary and cinematic, have flourished or otherwise in its mighty wake. But should you wish to revisit the source, here’s the first Hunger Games, which introduced Jennifer Lawrence as hotshot archer Katniss Everdeen, forced to take part in the titular fight-to-the-death youth tournament in a totalitarian future. The social satire is unsubtle, with the rich – Stanley Gucci’s MC, Donald Sutherland’s president and Elizabeth Banks’s chaperone – irksome, coiffured dandies,and the deadly sport itself is a 12-certificate bloodless affair, but Gary Ross directs with cut and thrust, and Lawrence is a true star in the making (as history has since proven).
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