Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The 378th film I have seen in theaters…

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It was back in early 2012 that I initially reviewed this film on wordpress. I went into that theater new to the story of Hunger Games, I somehow managed to resist reading Catching Fire until after the film’s release (I am already on chapter 9). I will not be able to hold off reading Mockingjay until both films come out…I will likely finish the series before month’s end. This movie was THAT damn good.

Plot

Some time has passed since the events of the first film. Katniss is back home in District 12 and is preparing to go on the “Victory Tour”. President Snow wishes this to be a tour that helps quell a rising revolution in Panem, a revolution inspired by Katniss’ victory in the 74th Games. The tour does not achieve this goal, and the sadistic new Game Master, Plutarch, devises a special event for the 75th Games- all tributes will be pulled from the existing victors. Katniss is pulled in, yet again, and must fight for her life in the deadly arena.

The Cast

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So many people faulted Jennifer Lawrence for being “too fat” in the first film. (insanity). Whatever your feelings on that choice last year, it has payed off with a knockout performance in Catching Fire. She carries this movie well.

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Poor Peeta. He loves Katniss but she doesn’t love him. Josh Hutcherson is given a little less to work with this time out, but he comes out alright.

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Ah, Liam Hemsworth…brother to Thor. He gets much more to do in this film than in the first, and that is a goo thing. These Hemsworth boys are good actors.

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Woody Harrelson was amazing casting in the first, and it continues to work here. His Haymitch is slightly less useless than before, and I hope for even more growth in the third.

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Elizabeth Banks returns as Effie. I was pleasantly surprised that even her character begins to turn against the Capitol for what they are doing in this film. She became something of the emotional core of our heroes.

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Emperor Santa Claus…I mean President Snow is played by Donald Sutherland aka THE MAN. This bit of casting payed off dividends as Snow’s evil is revealed and Sutherland’s awesomeness is unleashed on a new generation of film-goers.

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Sam Claflin joins the cast as preening Finnick. He is a good enough actor to lay his entire character on the floor in quick fashion and then smash it to pieces as we see his caring for old Madge. Good performance.

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Ah. Phillip Seymour Hoffman, one of the best actors out there. Well used as the new Game designer- Plutarch.

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I remember first seeing Jena Malone in Contact. She has developed quite the career and appears here as trbute Johanna, who gives us the biggest laugh of the film from a character that is not funny at all. I hope she continues to find work- good actress.

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Amanda Plummer appears as Wiress, a very unhinged tribute. I wish she had more to do in the film.

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Whoa! Doctor Narciss is in this movie?! Jeffrey Wright plays Beetee, electronics genius. This incredibly versatile actors rivets whenever on screen. It’s the eyes. This guy draws you right in and act his ass off.

and now, the real star of Hunger Games….

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Seriously. They need to give Stanley Tucci a tv talk show as Caesar Flickerman. I would watch it. Look at this guy!

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The Skinny

This is a perfect sequel. It takes all that the first film embodied and improves it significantly. The subtext, though dumbed down in the first, is allowed to explode in the sequel. We see the excess of the capital and the brutality it takes to keep this system in order. I could watch this again in an instant. There are few other films this year that I could say that of.

4 thoughts on “Hunger Games: Catching Fire”

  1. Good review. Feels less like a clone of Twilight, and more like its own beast that totally has me hyped-up and ready for what’s next to come with this story and these characters.

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