Hunger Games and Lord of the Rings Comparison

A Review of the Hunger Games as it Compares to Lord of the Rings

Did you see the last Hunger Games movie? It was the fourth movie in that series. I just saw it a few weeks ago, and for the most part I really liked it.

This is a series that captivated me from the very first movie. I have to admit I thought the storyline was pretty unique. There’s a part of it that made me feel uncomfortable, but the discomfort also drew me into the story.

From the beginning I thought that the characterization was outstanding. The actors cast for the different characters played their parts well. They were all distinct and unique. For the most part you could remember them easily from one movie to the next.

This is in contrast to some of the characters in the Lord of the Rings, another epic movie series over 10 years in the making.

I loved the Lord of the Rings series, so don’t get me wrong. I am not at all trying to diss that movie series or the director or the characters. However a number of the characters were hard to keep separate, especially if you had never read the books.

Because the Lord of the Rings was such a sweeping, complex story based on three very long books (with multiple locations and a ton of different characters), it was truly an undertaking to commit that story to film. Peter Jackson did an outstanding job and the cinematography and special effects are epic.

Still, for the uninitiated or the person new to The Lord of the Rings, there was a lot about that that was confusing. To fully appreciate it, I believe you had to have read the books and be fairly steeped in the story already.

The Hunger Games was in a different class. It also was based on a three-book series, but this story was less complex and with fewer characters than the Lord the Rings.

Because there were so few characters in the Hunger Games movies, it was quite easy to keep them apart. And to remember them from one movie to the next.

The special effects in the fourth film, as in the first three, were good. The scene where the circular stone structure fills up with hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil was impressive.

Really the only thing I didn’t like about that movie was the end, which is kind of unfortunate since it was the grand finale of all four movies.

At the very end you see Katniss sitting on a picnic blanket holding a baby, and a little ways away you see Peter with what is obviously his and Katniss’s small daughter. It’s all warm sunlight and glowing bugs and waving grasses and peace and happiness.

Katniss gazes down at the baby and says some stuff about nightmares and how yes, she has them too, and what she does about them. And then the movie ends.
It felt sappy and a bit corny. It didn’t fit with the raw, energetic Katniss character that had developed over the four movies. It did communicate that at last she was at peace, and at last she had chosen her love: Peeta.

As an aside, I was bummed that she didn’t choose Gale. Peeta always felt like the weaker character.

So the series ended with peace and light and color. I like happy endings, so that was good. But like I already said, it was a bit over-the-top sticky sweet. Kind of a let-down as a finale.