A Little Background: Comparing books to movies is ridiculous. But sometimes it’s just unavoidable. I hated 2002’s The Count of Monte Cristo, but only because it’s my favorite book and I wanted so much more of the story to be adapted. Another one of my favorite books is The Great Gatsby, which has been adapted to film three times in the last forty years. Crazy thing is, for the most part, I like The Great Gatsby productions, even though they really aren’t that good. My point? Book-to-movie adaptations can be wildcards, it becomes harder to judge a film only as a film. I’m also not crazy about this new phenomenon of writing books for the sole purpose of selling the movie rights. It’s lazy marketing for the sake of a quick buck. If you want to write a movie, just write a script, it will translate better. If money is the game though, than this new model is definitely the way to go. This is why it’s hard for me to process a film like this. Because I always feel like a willing participant in a massive social dupe. But I will try to put this feeling aside for the sake of an objective review.
The Film: It’s a very well done movie. The sets are very transformative, the action sequences are well polished, and the acting is quite good for what it is. Having seasoned veterans like Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, Jeffrey Wright, and Stanley Tucci really helps the cast come together. I didn’t particularly enjoy the plot. I think by not reading the books, I probably miss quite a lot of story, which is another flaw to this model.
Three Favorite Things: any scene or glimpse of the great Philip Seymour Hoffman, the lavish dystopian set, and a solid score from James Newton Howard