The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Review)

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It’s certainly one of the most anticipated movies of 2013, and fans around the world are dying to see the next instalment of Katniss’s violent adventures.

What’s it about?

A year after the 74th Hunger Games that saw Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mallark (Josh Hutcherson) fight for their lives (and win) the Capitol’s violent and public display of power, the resourceful pair believe the fight is over. However, their act of defiance has sparked a rebellion that angers President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and in order to de-thrown Katniss, the people’s hero, he constructs an “all-star” Hunger Games, composed of past victors.

My Verdict

An impressive improvement from the first movie, Catching Fire manages to level up it’s entertainment factor by instantly immersing the audience into the damaged psyche of our protagonist. From the onset, we are taken through a fragile journey of fame, love and despair all told through the eyes of Katniss. A huge part of the emotional connection with Katniss is thanks to Jennifer Lawrence, who yet again enthrals the audience and makes us root for her, cry for her and live vicariously through her – whether want to or not.

As in the first movie, the game itself does not begin until half-way through, but that is nothing to complain about. Francis Lawrence treats us like a sponge, and allows us to absorb the futuristic and eccentric scenery that Panem has to offer and he does a great job of weaving a thrilling story to lead us up to the epic fight that we’re all waiting for.

The fight itself, is everything anyone could want. No more shaky cam movements as in the first movie, it’s all clear to see and highly enjoyable, with some puzzle’s to solve that add to the tricky situation the Tributes have been dealt. Speaking of the Trbutes, more focus is brought to them and we begin to develop of a rapport with the fellow contenders; who aren’t as welcoming as Katniss would hope. Jena Malone shines in the role of Johanna Mason, a fierce previous victor, who acts as a rival and shifty companion to the District 12 duo as well as proving to be a humorous highlight. Sam Claffin also joins the lead cast in the highly charming role of Finnick Odair, a handsome egomaniac with a keen interest in Katniss and well … just look at him!

My only main issue is that there seems to be just a few “conveniences” that seem to have been placed in the story purely to move the story along and if you notice them, you’ll be thinking “That’s BS” quietly in your head, well, if you’re like me anyway. But it does not distract from the story as whole, as Catching Fire focuses on the dark politics of the dystopian future in a very realistic way.

It’s not hard to see why Catching Fire is taking the box-office (and the world) by storm. With impressive acting from a perfectly chosen cast, this movie has lived up to the hype that it has received and a climactic, impressive finale will leave you itching to see the next instalment.

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