the "sophomoric," as I called it, book when I read it a year ago.
I finally got around to watching the movie. It's not as good as the book because too many scenes unfold way too monotonously slow.
That said, if you don't want to commit 10 hours or so of your life to the book, 2 1/2 hours devoted to the film is well worth it. The premise is excellent, the actors are fun to watch, and the production is pretty fantastic. The filming in Western North Carolina presents beautiful background scenery for the tournament to the death of all but one contestant.
Had the producers cut about a third of the film's 142 minutes, this could have bordered on a classic. But it's way too snooze-inducing in way too many stretches.
*** out of ***** stars