THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE – THE REVIEW

I was starting to lose hope and wonder if this film would ever release, I just thought it was taking its sweet-ass time – but then I actually got to attend the premiere, with friend Sebby T, and this is when my mind was blown. The film is a standing ovation, a better plot, a better film and better everything. This is how franchises are run, just like Harry Potter, it did a good starter, but then saw the possibilities and what it could improve and did it all. I introduce you to what will be one of the biggest films of the year. It may not pip Iron Man 3, Thor or The Hobbit in total box office but it will give them a HUGE run for their money. And deservedly so.

 

The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, The Hunger Games Catching Fire, Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Lenny Kravitz, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Toby Jones, Woody Harrelson, Jena Malone, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amanda Plummer, Francis Lawrence, Simon Beaufoy, Michael Arndt, Suzanne Collins
THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

Catching Fire sees everyone return, excluding the director, and sees everything bigger. It starts a little while after the ending of the first, THE HUNGER GAMES, where things have changed since Katniss and Peeta’s outing in the games. They have provided the twelve districts with something they have lacked for years, hope. Katniss’ defiance at the President and The Capitol of Penam sees the other districts realise there is hope to come out from their subjugation. It sees the stirrings of a rebellion which The Capitol is desperate to eradicate. Katniss and Peeta must commence their Victory Tour, a tour of all the districts to showcase the winners, and basically rub it into everyone’s faces that they are all under the rule of the President and remind them all of their losses.

The President sees the rebellion and defiance commencing and decides that all Victors now pose a threat to the rule of The Capitol and as this is the 75th year of the Hunger Games, of which it is a special year – The Quarter Quell, and for this special year the Tributes will be selected from the current Victors. As such we see all the people who have survived the Hunger Games going up against each other.

 

The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, The Hunger Games Catching Fire, Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Lenny Kravitz, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Toby Jones, Woody Harrelson, Jena Malone, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amanda Plummer, Francis Lawrence, Simon Beaufoy, Michael Arndt, Suzanne Collins
THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

This film is less about the actual game this time, it is more about the commencement of the rebellion and the underlying treachery and politics associated with Penam, that being said, the games are still amazing, great battles, great effects and some good murder.

Now the negatives, that saw it lose only half a point. 1) not related to the film, but while it was amazing seeing this film at IMAX, I have become so used to digital that the screening of the film in IMAX film was a change I was not ready for, there was abundant dust build up that was distracting but the scenes filmed in IMAX were amazing. 2) I found the ending to the games a bit confusing, I cannot remember it clearly from the book, but thought it failed to explain how Katniss got the idea to shoot where she did adequately. 3) Again the killings, like the first film, bordered on too G rated and the film should not hold back, it should MA15+ the crap out of it and give us what we deserve, proper slaughters in a film about slaughtering 🙂

 

The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, The Hunger Games Catching Fire, Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Lenny Kravitz, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Toby Jones, Woody Harrelson, Jena Malone, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amanda Plummer, Francis Lawrence, Simon Beaufoy, Michael Arndt, Suzanne Collins
THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

Jennifer Lawrence really leads this film, she is better in this outing as Katniss and her range onscreen is just remarkable. I love Huthcherson and he can do no wrong for me, ever since Zathura and Bridge to Terabithia he holds my attention on screen. Hemsworth is again in the story very little but he steps to the fore in the third instalment for all those desperate for lots of Gale. Donald Sutherland is perfect being the total tool you want to see annihilated and Philip Seymour Hoffman is a great addition as the new games master. I wanted more of Amanda Plummer, she is always a perfect crazy person in films and it could have done with more of her. Lenny Kravitz needs to do more film, I think his Cinna is perfect, although in this film I thought his demise was slightly soft, it failed to have the impact that it did in the book. Elizabeth Banks is just perfect as Effie, as she was last time. I loved her emotions starting to leak out and it is through Effie we start to see the Capitol unravel. Then there is Stanley Tucci, possibly the greatest thing in THE HUNGER GAMES franchise. His comic timing, that fake tan and those bloody teeth just make the film for me. He is perfectly placed to pace some humour in the film.

 

The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, The Hunger Games Catching Fire, Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Lenny Kravitz, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Toby Jones, Woody Harrelson, Jena Malone, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amanda Plummer, Francis Lawrence, Simon Beaufoy, Michael Arndt, Suzanne Collins
THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

Director Francis Lawrence gives us a much more edgy Hunger Games film and I think he does a much better job than Gary Ross did. Lawrence has given us CONSTANTINE, LIKE WATER FOR ELEPHANTS and I AM LEGEND. He sets a much darker tone and I think he will finish off the series with MOCKINGJAY PARTS 1 and then 2 brilliantly.

If you loved the books and the first film then this film will be better than you expected. You could end up like the 16yr old girl who sat next to me. She sobbed and cried through most of the film and could not hold in her emotions for pretty much that entire time. So much so Seb kept looking over me at her and we both held back giggling at her on numerous times. But it is this kind of emotional response that a work of greatness can elicit, and this film is a work of greatness in the canon of film franchises. Dear Twilight, please take note if you ever do remakes, Regards JK.

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE releases tomorrow internationally (at most sites there are midnight screenings tonight), is ranking at 93% from international critics on Rotten Tomatoes, is rated M and runs for what felt like a short 142mins. I bloody loved it!

 

4 and a Half Pops