I appreciated Jennifer Lawrence's performance much more the second time around. I found her a bit too guarded and short (not height, attitude) the first time, but upon second viewing she really did capture Katniss. Since Katniss is the narrator of the book, it's easy to forget how internal she is and how little she speaks of her feelings out loud and I think Lawrence did a good job of playing just bellow the surface. One of my favorite moments was when she and Peeta go hunting and he jokes about the bow, the reaction she gives is just so spot on, like it's the first time that Katniss has ever noticed a boy flirting with her.
I found Peeta a little too whiny and not quite self deprecating. I admit, when I read the books, I always picture Peeta as Pacey Witter circa season 3. All woe is me, why is there always a soulmate in my way, hopeless romantic who invests too into his relationships. But most importantly a charismatic talker who uses humor to get people to like him. I think Hutcherson has the ability to portray that and there were hints of it, but in general it didn't quite translate (the "feel free to kiss me anytime" line that got cut would have been a good example). Another thing that really bugged me was the scene where Katniss tells Peeta to throw the weights to impress the Careers went against everything about the Katniss and Peeta dynamic. Peeta was always the character that knew how to work a room, so him needing advice from Katniss rang false.
As for Haymitch, I thought he was too competent and subdued. I guess when I heard WH was in the role I assumed he'd be like his character in Zombieland all belligerent and crazy and stuff. I still enjoyed the character, but would have liked it if he were just a bit more sarcastic and drunk.
I liked Liam Hemsworth and Gale much more than I thought I would, although I always preferred Gale to Peeta in the first book. Him and Lawrence had an easy chemistry that worked well to set up the Gale/Katniss relationship in the brief scenes they had and I think they did a good job setting up Gale and his ideals that don't really come into focus until Mockingjay.
My biggest pet peeve though was how rushed and boring the end was. By the end of the games, the kids barely had but a few scratches on their faces and are basically all "Well that was weird. So, watcha up to this weekend?" I hope they let the last two films go a bit darker because by the end of the trilogy Katniss and Peeta are just so fucked up from all the things they went through, it was jarring in this film that they seem to be really nonchalant about the whole thing.
Edited by glitter5579, Apr 10, 2012 @ 11:46 AM.