The huge success of "The Hunger Games" should be attributed to the awesome marketing and the apparent title of being the next "Twilight" when it comes to its money making ability in the teen-fantasy genre. The camera-work is just fine, save for the jerk motions when somebody is being killed. You won't feel any nausea if you are used to Greengrass's style of cinematography. The acting from Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Elizabeth Banks and Josh Hutcherson were great. Where the movie falls apart is in the second act when the contestants are inside the arena. Say what you may, at least "Battle Royale" provided a highly definitive motive for the kids to become killers, didn't glorify the regime and didn't hold back. Of course, since this movie is PG-13, there's relatively no bloodshed on screen and I can overlook that aspect. What kept nagging me throughout the whole movie is, the kids in "The Hunger Games" have no motive to kill each other! Sure somebody should win. But it never explains why they would pick up arms and go kill someone instead of letting nature run its course as Woody Harrelson's Haymitch Abernathy character explained earlier.
The only ones with any kind of character development are Katniss and Peeta. All the others, save for the little black girl and Isabelle Fuhrman barely get to talk in the movie. We have the standard white hunk and his gang of cliché cronies who are the 'villains' and must be brought down. They smirk and take pleasure in killing others while our leads don't get their hands dirty, at all. Peeta, as far as we could see doesn't kill anybody while Katniss killed one guy in self defense trying to save the little black girl. Even the main 'villain' is killed off by cgi animals instead of our leads. So by the end of the movie, our leads are relatively guilt free and their actions in the arena doesn't affect them much. Also they never showed any of the parents being affected by watching their children kill others or being killed brutally.