Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013): Review

Tonight I went and saw the first showing I could of the new installment of The Hunger Games movies, Catching Fire.  I am glad to say that I enjoyed it and that for anyone excited about this movie it definitely hits that mark and the production value is much better then the first.
Catching Fire continues after the events of the first movie with Katniss, played by Jennifer Lawrence and Peeta, played by Josh Hutcherson, back in District Twelve having survived as the victors of the 74th hunger games.  Katniss is just trying to forget what happened during that time and put her life back together but the Capital and Specifically President Snow, played by Donald Sutherland, wants to see her demise.  Katniss has to struggle with her old life, which includes her sister Prim, her mother, and best friend (who is in love with her) Gale, played by Liam Hemsworth. Katniss struggles with her relationship with Peeta, because she played up her love for him in order for them both to have survived the previous Hunger Games and the world is seeing this as hope for a rebellion against the Capital.  Katniss is told by President Snow that if she doesn't help to diminish the rebellious spirit of the other districts and convince everyone of her love for Peeta, everyone she cares for will be killed.  With the guidance of previous District Twelve Victim Haymich, played by Woody Harrison, she has to convince President Snow that she is working with them.  After President Snow decides that she is too much of a threat, for the 75th annual Hunger Games also known as the third Quarter Quell the tributes from the districts are reaped from previous victors.  With that we have Katniss and Peeta going back into the arena to try and survice, both with their own opinions of which one of them should survive.  Also brought into play in the games are previous victors Finnick, played by Sam Claflin, and Johanna, played by Jena Malone. The movie also brings back Tribute Twelve Handler Effie, played by Elizabeth Banks, Katniss's stylist and friend Cinna, played by Lenny Kravitz, and television host Caesar, played by Stanley Tucci.
I think that this movie goes from good to really good because of the great cast of actors involved. To me, what makes the Hunger Games movies stand out from other teen lit movies that have been popular and  prevalent lately is the quality of actors that it has gotten to play the main characters.  Yes Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson were not hugely know when the movie came out, but Lawrence was nominated for an academy aware for her initial big movie role and Hutcherson has always just been so darn cute and as Peeta quite loveable.  This supporting cast is fantastic in Banks, Sutherland, and Harrelson.  In Catching Fire I think that Elizabeth Banks is able to play Effie in a way where she is likable and you actually like her, where in the original Hunger Games (2012) this character was a little more one note, here she has more range and it really works for the character.  Donald Southerland is just great at playing the type of bad guys he does in these movies and it is shown in how much the President Snow role is beefed up in the movies compared to the books. Catching Fire follows along with what was started in The Hunger Games with showing the behind the scenes thinking and motivation for the decisions Snow makes and what leads to influencing the situations Katniss is put into. Woody Harrelson is once again fabulous as Haymitch and Harrelson has slowing become one of my favorite actors in general.  He continues to be able to bring you into to liking him as Haymitch, which is a character that could very easily be played too one way or another, but hits just the right notes.
With Catching fire the production value is better and the special effects fit pretty seamlessly in with the movie, except where it was suppose to have the appears of allusions the effects didn't draw notice to them being effects.  I really liked how this was done in this movie. 
With this movie, the pace of what is happening happens really fast and it packs a lot of stuff into its story.  With all the stuff going on and the fast pace of it all, the movie didn't have the feel of it being a two and a half hour movie, that being said, with the two parts of the movie (pre-arena and arena) it kinda feels slightly too full and that this book as well could have been made into two different movies.  I know many of the people who read the books would have liked more of the content from the book in there (but who doesn't want this when they see a movie of a book they have read).
Overall I really liked this movie and want to see it again just to get all of the stuff in there.  There was a lot going on and a lot of things that with the knowledge of the books you would understand how it could have had a lot more things associated with it.  This movie also puts little touches in it that are leading up to the third book in the series and are needed only so that they can be build upon, because without that in this movie it would make no sense in the next.

My Rating: 3

1 comment:

  1. Good review . Not as good as the first, but still the type of movie that keeps the story moving at a fine pace, as well as creating more characters and subplots to smash into one another. Click Here for The Hunger Games Catching Fire 2013 HD movie free Download