Is it the new Twilight? Is it faithful to the book? How violent is it? What’s up with Woody Harrelson’s hair? No, yes, pretty violent and Lord only knows.
Now we’ve got the big questions out the way, a quick catch-up for those wondering if The Hunger Games is ITV’s follow-up to The Biggest Loser. No. It’s the feverishly anticipated adap of the first in Suzanne Collins’ teen-book trilogy, set in a post-apocalyptic US (now called Panem) where the problems of maintaining civil order, keeping the youth in line and what to watch on TV all have the same solution: The Hunger Games, a yearly gladiatorial contest where two dozen randomly selected 12-to-18-year-old ‘Tributes’ are forced to fight to the death until only one remains. And it’s on freeview!
Gary Ross’ film kicks in like a futuristic redux of Winter’s Bone, with Jennifer Lawrence again being the glue holding together a fatherless, near-penniless household. Already there’s portent in the air, even before a government hovercraft thunders overhead.
And there’s a gut-wrench right around the corner, when 16-year-old Katniss’ (Lawrence) baby sis Prim (Willow Shield) is plucked from the hat for the 74th Games. A horrified Katniss volunteers to take her place, and it’s off to the Capitol, flanked by her fellow Tribute, baker boy Peeta (Josh Hutcherson)…