Somehow I managed to watch the first movie of the Hunger Games trilogy before its official release so I'm going to give you a bit of my opinion.
I might have been living in a cardboard box for a while as I only knew of the books existence a month ago so most of the hype is fresh to me. Instantly I saw similarities to Battle Royale and as an avid Battle Royale fan I was intrigued by how the Hunger Games would develop.
Anyway onto the film, I have not read much about the actual story so all my knowledge is based on the film. I have to say the film does not manage to hold my interest as how Battle Royale did. In general the plot was swift but also lacking in a lot of detail, many characters were introduced and then quickly killed off. The actual Hunger Games lasted no more than an hour of film time. Character development was poor besides for Katniss and I felt the relationship between Katniss and Peeta far too 'Hollywood' in the movie, like a ploy to drag teen girls to the cinema. I would say most of the film was intriguing up until the end where you're left asking "Was that it?", this obviously coming from a viewer with no prior knowledge of the outcome. Desperate to find a conclusion I spent time scouring through Wikipedia pages but was left with not much of an answer and what sounds like an unpromising finale to the story.
What should have been painstaking moments like Rue's death were treated lightly with expectation rather than shock. The film would have benefited much more if they spent less time creating background for the games and more time when the contestants are in the games. Characters are portrayed in a stereotypical way with a clear divide between the good guys and the bad and no interest as to why the 'baddies' act in that way. I also found Katniss' character rather odd. She seemed exhilarated by the fact that people liked her when she was being interviewed and introduced to the games but is strongly against the idea of the Hunger Games. We can argue this emotion might have conjured from her feeling of wanting to win for her sister but I can't help but feel that Katniss is not the protagonist we are led to believe.
I will be intrigued to watch the following movies to see how it pans out but I'm not yet drawn to read the books as nothing as of yet promises that the Hunger Games would be as interesting a read as Battle Royale.