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'The Hunger Games': Decide whether you want to see it

If you haven't read the books, will you like 'The Hunger Games'? Here are five ways to find out.

By Kofi OutlawScreen Rant / March 23, 2012

'Hunger Games' actor Lenny Kravitz (l.) is pitch-perfect as heroine Katniss' stylist Cinna.

Murray Close/HONS/Lionsgate/AP

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The Hunger Games is the hot-ticket item at the movies right now; It's already sold-out record numbers of advanced showings, and earned strong reviews from critics (click here for our official review). The film is looking like a big success for Lionsgate (a sequel, Catching Fire, is already on the way) - but that doesn't mean that everyone is sold on seeing it.
In fact, there is a considerable portion of the larger moviegoing public that hasn't read any of Suzanne Collins' novels and is wondering what all the hubbub is about this film and if it's worth a trip to the theater.
So, for those who have not yet been bitten by Hunger Gamesfever, we've compiled 5 things you should know to help you better make your decision about whether or not to see the film.

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5. There is Action and Violence

Contrary to what The Hunger Games trailers would have you believe, this film is about more than just the drama surrounding protagonist Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) trying to save her sister, Prim. There is actually, you know, a brutal tournament that takes place.

Admittedly, the studio has taken a risky step by leaving footage of the deadly melee that is the actual "hunger games" out of any preview materials. Having read the book, trust us when we say that the film offers plenty of action (and some pretty horrific moments) once Katniss is on the playing field fighting for her life. Dangers include mutated beasts, video game-style traps - and oh, yeah, the 20+ other young combatants looking to murder one another.

If you're worried that this film looks boring and/or sappy - don't. There are plenty of thrills and chills to be had.

4. There's No Soapy 'Twilight' Romantic Stuff

Those unfamiliar with The Hunger Games have taken one look at the two male protagonists in the film trailers - Gale (Liam Hemsworth) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) - and immediately leapt to the conclusion that the film would emulate the soapy teen love triangle of The Twilight Saga. While we can see the similarity, that assumption is still an erroneous one.

Katniss Everdeen is not the type of girl to get hung up on boys. Author Suzanne Collins created a unique heroine whose only focus is survival, period. The two boys in her life are only there because they help with that survival goal - whether at home in the forests hunting for food (Gale), or during the public relations campaign that precedes the games (Peeta).

No sappy love story to see here, folks. Once the games begin, Katniss' concern is keeping herself alive. Any love or affection she shows is all part of the game...

3. It's Not Just a Clone of That Film You Saw Before

Even as The Hunger Games nears its theatrical debut, there are snarky individuals who like to drop comments about how the film is a recycled version of earlier films like The Running Man, or Japenese cult-classic Battle Royale - or (to lesser extent) deathmatch films like The Condemned. However, these so-called "insights" lack, well, insight into what The Hunger Games is truly about.

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