This film picks up right where the previous film left off. Our favorite tributes, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, are embarking on the Victory Tour that celebrates the past years winners in every district. However, civil unrest in plaguing some of the districts and its up to Katniss to subdue any rebellions whilst the Capitol is preparing for the Quarter Quell, a landmark Hunger Games that will forever change Panem’s odds.
These Hunger Games are different, instead of tributes from each district past winners of the previous hunger games are back in the arena. From skilled fighters to frail men and women, the games are longer for sport.
Jennifer Lawrence continues to bring a certain grittiness to the strong willed Katniss Everdeen. Her conflicted emotions fuel the growing unrest in Panem and motivate rebels. She is completely believable and as an audience you are just as conflicted as she is. Josh Hutcherson brings a familiar and safe presence to balance out Katniss as Peeta Mellark. With the cameras always on, he struggles with Katniss as their relationship is strained and superficial. They both have matured into their roles even more this time around with fleeting glances and complicated motives.
The supporting cast, for the most part was a delight to watch as well. Amanda Plummer was a surprisingly good cast as Wiress,a past tribute. Per usual, Stanley Tucci shines as the eccentric “game show host” Caesar Flickerman as does Lenny Kravitz in his performance as Cinna. Another surprising cast was Phillip Seymore Hoffman as Plutrach Heavensbee, the new game designer. Both Sam Claftin and Jena Malone, who play Finnick Odair and Johanna Mason, did incredible jobs with the little time we see them in whole film. From Finnick’s debonair social graces to Johanna’s disregard for authority, the past tributes make for an interesting cast.
As a devoted fan of the books, I was concerned how the book would translate to film. The book had so much content that it seemed impossible reading it and trying to imagine a movie version. However I was shocked at how well they managed to squeeze everything in there. Now did they leave out certain things? Of course they did, as with any other page to screen adaptation. In fact the only things I found wrong with the movie, were the same things I found wrong with the books. There are minor pacing issues with the first 15 minutes. Literally that is the only notable issue I had with the film and its not even that big of a deal.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is blazing to the top and a holiday season smash!
Go check it out and may the odds be ever in your favor.