The Hunger Games movies are on Netflix and yes, I spent a whole entire weekend re-watching every single one of them.
I feel there was a time where every teenage girl was obsessed with Katniss from The Hunger Games and wanted to learn how to shoot a bow and arrow – that and the fact that Brave came out the same year. But now, as an adult, I decided to re-watch all the movies that I was obsessed with as a teenager, and yeah, they’re still just as good.
I had a lot of thoughts going into this film series, so let’s get into it. (And as you might expect, this article is full of spoilers from the Hunger Games movies!)
The First Film Really Is Done Amazingly Well
Okay, shaky-cam aside, can we talk about how well done the first Hunger Games movie is? With a lot of young adult fiction adaptations, sometimes, it can be hard to fully adapt the tone of the books into the movies. Sometimes, it feels as if the adaptation sort of hypes up certain parts of the book in order to draw eyes to the film, but The Hunger Games didn’t do that at all.
We are thrown right into this dark, depressing world with a scream, and then given a first-hand look into how the world of The Hunger Games works. It’s chilling to the bone, and even better as an adult.
It's Easy To See Why Jennifer Lawrence Became A Star After The First Film
Jennifer Lawrence is a household name at this point. Everyone knows about her, from her starring roles in movies such as Silver Linings Playbook and Causeway to other movies such as Don’t Look Up and Joy. Granted, Lawrence also had roles that made her name well-known before The Hunger Games, such as Winter’s Bone, which earned her an Academy Award nomination, as well as portraying a young Mystique in X-Men: First Class.
Jennifer Lawrence Movies: What To Watch Streaming If You Like The Hunger Games Star
But nothing compares to how she is within these movies. The Hunger Games, the very first film, is what made her a blockbuster star, where we could see her in other big-time movies.
She’s fantastic in the role of Katniss. She’s able to capture her sarcasm but also her serious nature, and how she wasn’t someone to mess around with. But she’s always able to perfectly portray her very complicated emotions that you read from the books. Just an all around amazing performance.
Obviously she does an excellent job in the later movies, but the first film is truly where she had shined.
The Cornucopia Scene Is Still Just As Chilling
Children killing children is something that is never enjoyable to watch, but somehow, it’s even scarier as an adult watching these movies. There’s no music even in the cornucopia scene – nothing intense or action-based, just a hollow ringing as every child is fighting for their lives and we are literally viewing children getting slaughtered while others survive.
It’s something that truly makes me squirm in my seat to this day – and makes me despise the people of Panem even more.
Rue’s Death Still Has Me Crying Years Later
On a real note, Amandla Stenberg is outstanding as Rue, and yes, her death still makes me sob my little heart out to this day. There is not a single other young adult adaptation that made me want to clutch my pillow and forget how to breathe for a good few minutes – maybe the Harry Potter franchise, but at least in that, most of the people willingly go into war and risk their lives.
In The Hunger Games, these kids are forced to do this, without any choice, and Rue was literally Prim’s age and Katniss felt a responsibility to look out for her. It’s so sad and so depressing and it was the perfect spark for the revolution against Panem.
But Catching Fire Is Hands Down The Best One Of The Four
I actually like the third book out of the three original Hunger Games novels, but the second movie is the best adaptation. Not only because it’s adapted perfectly, but the set design, the costumes, the music, the cinematography is just so amazingly well-done. I have watched Catching Fire a few times outside of watching the other films just because I enjoy it so much.
Finnick Odair Has My Whole Heart
I’m starting to think that Sam Claflin could make a whole career out of book-to-movie roles with his parts in the Daisy Jones and the Six cast, as well as Me Before You, among other roles, but him playing Finnick Odair – it felt as if it was made for him.
He just captured that sweet arrogance so much. I know those words sound like they wouldn’t make sense but with Finnick, that is who he was in the books. He's cocky and strong but deep down, he honestly is a great character who wanted nothing more than to protect the love of his life, Annie, and to live peacefully. Finnick deserved better.
“Tick-Tock, It’s A Clock”
One of the best moments in both the movies and the book. Wiress didn't seem like.a particularly helpful character in the novels and in the movie but when she kept saying, “tick-tock, it’s a clock,” over and over, that’s when Katniss realizes that the arena is set like a clock, with hourly hazards. It’s one of the key ways she is able to survive the battle and make it out alive.
It’s so masterfully hidden within someone panicking over what is happening, but then beautifully integrated into the rest of the story and makes the viewers wonder how the heck they’re going to get out of it this time.
Can We Acknowledge That The Love Triangle Was Pointless?
Love triangles are stupid and I’m not going to say much more than that. While Liam Hemsworth was great as Gale, there was never a real relationship ever on the line between him and Katniss. I hated watching it in the films as an adult. Peeta-lover for life.
But on a real note, love triangles can be done well, but it just wasn’t needed in movies like these. These aren’t the Twilight movies. There’s nothing inherently wrong about those films, but there was a whole campaign on Team Jacob or Team Edward, which was a big part of the promotions for those movies – that isn’t the case for The Hunger Games. I’m Team Katniss over here. I’m not tuning in for the love, I’m tuning in for the action, violence and revolution, thank you.
That Peeta Twist In Mockingjay - Part 1 Is Always So Interesting To Watch
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 ending is always something that I truly have enjoyed time and time again. I remember when the twist happened in the books, I kept thinking to myself “how the heck are they going to get him back? There’s no way Peeta is going to stay brainwashed like this forever… is he?”
And they did an excellent job of having that moment, him strangling Katniss, as the last scene of the first part. Really well-done – and Josh Hutcherson acted his butt of.
Prim’s Death Is So Freaking Sad
Fun fact – this was actually my first time watching The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 because the second part came out during my first year of college and I just didn’t have the time to go see it – but can fully agree that I still hate Prim’s death as much as I did in the book.
It’s so sudden and so quick and so sad. While I don’t think it’s as impactful as Rue’s death, I certainly think it drives Katniss to end the war quicker than ever – I mean, I would do so too. The whole reason she started doing this was to protect her sister, and now she was gone. Truly tragic.
The Last Film Has Me Excited For The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes
I have to say, I’m eagerly awaiting the release of The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes now. I was excited for it, but now I really can’t wait. I think I just needed to revisit these films now to get back into that mindset of the world of Panem because now, I’m truly interested in learning a whole lot more about Snow’s past now that he’s dead and gone in the last film.
I’m eager to see what comes next in this franchise, and maybe we’ll get even more Hunger Games movies to look forward to. But for now, I’ll settle on the new one releasing in 2023 – and re-watch these whenever I want to.