Movie Reviews

Entrée (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Review)

With the release of Part 2 of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay coming out on Friday November 20th, I thought I would take a look back at the entire series (primarily because I’ve never seen any of the movies or read any of the book for that matter). You can see any of my previous installments here. This is also my 100th review! Hoorah (nobody says that anymore)! You can also read any of my other reviews here.

After arriving safely home from their unprecedented victory in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) discover that they must do a quick turnaround and begin a Victors Tour. As she and Peeta travel throughout the districts, Katniss senses a rebellion is stirring. However, President Snow (Donald Sutherland) proves that he is still very much in control when word comes of a cruel change in the rules for the upcoming 75th Hunger Games.

So I didn’t see any of the movies or read any of the books but I am still aware of the series and all of its three (and almost four) films so far. I think I must have been the only one who hasn’t yet. It’s human nature for things in the second film to not seem as climactic when you’ve previously known things about films past and future. This review will be based on this.

So this is the next one. Katniss and Peeta are now champions of the 74th Hunger Games and now they get to flaunt this around in a tour across all the other Districts. President Snow (Sutherland), however, is sensing a rebellion developing amongst the districts so he tasks them to try to ease the unrest or risk the death of each of their families. Once they fail, Snow devises a plan to put each of them back in the following year’s version of the Hunger Games by altering eligibility rules by making former champions of each District the only ones who can compete (this is how they keep Katniss and Peeta involved, I guess). The familiar cast of supporting characters are back for this one, President Snow, Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth), Katniss’ mother (Paula Malcomson), Katniss’ sister (Willow Shields), Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson), Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks), and Cinna (Lenny Kravitz). They are all joined by two new additions, Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin) and Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman). I though the returning cast, as in the first film, were good here and the new additions were good as well, especially Claflin who had some good lines and some real scene presence. The stars, Lawrence and Hutcherson, were better here than the previous film because of more experience with the roles. I appreciated the fact that we got to spend more time with Katniss and Peeta during their own lives as the idea behind the whole “Hunger Games” thing just seemed and still seems silly to me. There was still a Hunger Games here but it was secondary to the District civil unrest storyline. The first film had some of this but this was expanded much more here. I was always much more interested in this storyline than the other. I also liked the suspenseful aspects revolving around this as found myself pleasantly entertained. Of course not all of my suspicions were answered (especially by the ending) but I didn’t mind because there are two more films left. The actual Hunger Games themselves were better than the previous film because it was more exciting as there was more action, more special effects in the this one’s landscape and the monsters which they had to face, and there was more camaraderie amongst the participants.  Overall, this is definitely an improvement over the previous film as it started to stray away from its original story and heads towards what is hopefully a satisfying conclusion.

Score: 8/10

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