The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Movie Review by Alexander Robinson
Remember how much of an improvement The Dark Knight was over Batman Begins or The Empire Strikes Back compared to the original Star Wars?
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is the second film in the Hunger Games franchise directed by Francis Lawrence who replaced Gary Ross who directed the first movie. After winning the 74th annual Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Merllark (Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson) are on their victory tour, but they realize that they have brought hope to the 12 districts by breaking the rules of the Hunger Games in order to survive. This doesn’t go over well with the Capital’s president, Coriolanus Snow (Donald Sutherland) who aims to make Katniss a dead girl or one of the glamorous people living at the capital. So he sets up the 75th annual Hunger Games, also known as the Third Quarter Quell in which the tributes are two victors from past Hunger Games. So Katniss and the other tributes have to fight to the death and also survive.
This movie is one of those few moments where in a movie franchise, the sequel is as good if not better then the first one. In this case Catching Fire is undoubtedly better then The Hunger Games. Most of the things that weren’t handled very well or seemed absent in the first movie are addressed in this movie. There is almost no shaky cam during the action scenes; with the exception of one shot, you see people getting killed without the camera shaking and without quick edits. The cinematography is amazing and there are many beautiful shots throughout this movie, one of which happens during the games. Since this movie was partially shot in IMAX, I’m excited to see how much better it will look in the IMAX format.
The capital and President Snow also pose more of a threat which leads to some very emotionally powerful moments. You see the 12 districts gain hope only for the capital to interfere and assault and/or kill those who oppose the capital. Like the last movie the performances are good, but for those who weren’t in the last movie or were absent throughout most of that movie, Donald Sutherland makes for a very effective villain and Phillip Seymour Hoffman is good. Another new person I like is Jena Malone as Johanna Mason, and it’s not just because of how she is introduced. (if you’ve seen the movie or read the book, you know what it is) Also Jennifer Lawrence is just as good as ever. She is (for lack of a better word) on fire in this movie and I have yet to see her in something where she was bad.
There’s one thing I don’t like, and you could call it a nitpick because it lasts for a scene. The officer who beats up Gale (Liam Hemsworth) is trying to be very evil and menacing, but comes across as over the top to the point where it’s laughable. It also doesn’t help that he’s putting on his best Christian Bale Batman voice. He also just disappears after that scene, but without reading the books, I have a feeling that he’s going to pop up in Mockingjay.
Other then that, there is nothing else that I can think of that’s really bad. It’s a very entertaining movie, well directed, well acted, it has great moments of tension and emotion, and truly is a sequel that improves upon the original in many ways. Also the ending got me excited to see the last part, although I wish wasn’t being split into two movies.
You can check out my video review and more at “The Cinemas with Mr. Robinson” on YouTube