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PopTop review: 'Hunger Games' only whets viewers' appetites

Published August 20, 2012 12:25 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

GRADE: B-

DVD •There's more setup than payoff in "The Hunger Games," as director Gary Ross ("Seabiscuit") concentrates more on establishing a moneymaking franchise out of Suzanne Collins' dystopian novel than finding the compelling story in it. Jennifer Lawerence stars as Katniss Everdeen, the teen warrior in a post-America dictatorship where the masses are subjugated through televised gladiatorial battles. Katniss and runty Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) represent poverty-stricken District 12 and must fight their way through rivals, killer wasps and the manipulation of a TV producer (Wes Bentley) doing the bidding of the president (Donald Sutherland). The action is intense (and rather violent for a PG-13 rating), and Lawrence's fierce performance will keep viewers eager to see the series' next installment. Extras include an interview with Ross and a mini-documentary on Collins and the Hunger Games phenomenon.

Sean P. Means —

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