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August 14, 2017

Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) --- "Catching Fire Can Be Dangerous."


Plot Summary

Twelve months after her Hunger Games victory, Katniss Everdeen finds herself under President Snow's watchful eye and must prove that she and Peeta's double win was truly due to their undying love for each other. But Snow's plans have only just begun, and when the 75th annual Games begins, Katniss's life will change forever. (1)

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Hello, Movie Buffs!
     Compared to the first film, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is profoundly darker both in the book and the movie. The main characters are even more pessimistic than ever and their need for survival is much more imperative. Now if you thought that the first installment had few laughs then in this film the comedy is fewer and farther in between. Some of the comedy is either very subtle or a little dark when first seen.  Even the brightly-lit scenes of adoring crowds and smiling hosts seemed somewhat forced and depressing. Of course there is some enjoyable witty banter between the multitude of characters, however, you could not help notice the feeling of doom and gloom that surrounded the film from start to end. Now, this is not meant to be a bad thing because this movie is not supposed to be a relatively happy one.
     The Hunger Games: Catching Fire follows right after the first installment, through the course of a year. Katniss and Peeta have changed the fate of Panem by inadvertently sparking a rebellion due to ending the 74th Hunger Games with a two-way tie. Now, while many details and subplots were understandably cut from the film, none of them were very crucial to the storyline. However, a majority of the secondary action was cut from the film and this made it seem like there were not enough fights or explosions, which is not what you want to see in an action-thriller. On the other hand, the story-telling for the film still works to move from the first film and prepare the audience for the third film.
     Jennifer Lawrence (Winter's Bone, Joy) didn't change very much from the first film to this one, probably because most of the growing needed to be done in the first installment; she had to grow up even more. However, Josh Hutcherson (Bridge to Terabithia) put in a better performance and though he still remained the smitten young boy, he is maturing as a more complex character and this is most beneficial to his character for the final book adaptation. Woody Harrison (2012) is still a sarcastic drunkard but after seeing what the Games can do to a person, both physically and emotionally, we start to see a more hidden carefree side of his character. And Elizabeth Banks’ (Pitch Perfect, Power Rangers) character begins her journey of finally seeing the darker sides of the Capitol. While some people may say that her character is ignorant and na├»ve concerning the truly dark reason behind the Games. I believe that it was more of a fear of knowing too much because as we learned in the first film no one is ever really safe, not even in the Capitol. Donald Sutherland (Space Cowboys) brings out a more menacing and darker side of President Snow, and while his scenes were a little more restrained he does not need to say much in order for you think twice about how dangerous he is. Simply put his performance was wickedly stunning. Another character that I must pay special attention to is Jena Malone (Pride and Prejudice) as the unpredictable and explosive Johanna. Her presence in every scene she is in brings a certain fire to screen, by portraying a unique balance of attitude and humor. This is a girl who has absolutely nothing to lose, except her own life and she doesn’t seem intent on giving up anytime soon.

     Overall, despite the pervading doom and gloom throughout the film, this is still an enjoyable movie and hopefully, in the next film, we will be able to see a more emotional conflict with are characters, both new and old.

“People are looking to you, Katniss. You've given them an opportunity. They just have to be brave enough to take it.”
- Gale Hawthorne

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  4 of 5 stars
Worth Buying:  4 of 5 stars

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Movies Similar
Divergent (2014)
Divergent: Insurgent (2015)
Divergent: Allegiant (2016)
The Giver (2014)
Hunger Games (2012)
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (2014)
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (2015)
The Maze Runner (2014)
The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials (2015)

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Francis Lawrence 


Writing Credits:

    (ScreenplaySimon Beaufoy and Michael Arndt.

    (NovelSuzanne Collins.

Produced by 

   Suzanne Collins       ---   executive producer
   Joseph Drake            ---   executive producer
   Nina Jacobson          ---   producer
   Jon Kilik                    ---   producer
   Michael Paseornek  ---   production executive
   Aldric La'auli Porter        ---      co-producer
   Louise Rosner          ---   executive producer
   Allison Shearmur    ---   executive producer
   Bryan Unkeless        ---   co-producer


   Stanley Tucci --- Caesar Flickerman
   Jennifer Lawrence --- Katniss Everdeen
   Willow Shields --- Primrose Everdeen
   Liam Hemsworth --- Gale Hawthorne
   Elizabeth Banks --- Effie Trinket
   Paula Malcomson --- Katniss' Mother
   Josh Hutcherson --- Peeta Mellark
   Woody Harrelson --- Haymitch Abernathy
   Toby Jones --- Claudius Templesmith
   Nelson Ascencio --- Flavius
   Bruce Bundy --- Octavia
   Lenny Kravitz --- Cinna
   Philip Seymour Hoffman --- Plutarch Heavensbee
   Donald Sutherland --- President Snow
   Erika Bierman --- Snow’s Granddaughter
  Wilbur Fitzgerald --- Cray
  Patrick St. Esprit --- Commander Thread
  Alan Ritchson --- Gloss
  Stephanie Leigh Schlund --- Cashmere
  Meta Golding --- Enobaria
  Jeffrey Wright --- Beetee
  Amanda Plummer --- Wiress
  Megan Hayes --- Female Morphling
  Sam Claflin --- Finnick Odair
  Stef Dawson --- Annie Cresta
  Lynn Cohen --- Mags
  Jena Malone --- Johanna Mason
  James Logan --- District 5 Male Tribute
  Bruno Gunn --- Brutus
  Maria Howell --- Seeder
  Elena Sanchez --- Cecelia
  John Casino --- Woof

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