Film Reviews

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Review

A lot has changed since the last time we were in Panem; The Girl on Fire’s flames really are catching.

The film begins itself with the return of District 12’s Katniss and Peeta. After surviving the Games and royally pissing off the Capitol, they think they’re safe. They’re so wrong. Moments after we see the pair back where they belong they’re off to embark on The Victors Tour with a vengefuil President Snow watching their every move and masses of Peacekeepers waiting for the spark of an uprising. In each district there’s something not quite right, there’s something in the air of Panem that wasn’t their before, hope.

After failing to convince the President, Katniss has a lot at stake. President Snow wants her dead, to stamp out the uprising, and to keep the dignity of his fascist dictatorship intact. And that’s where the 75th Hunger Games come in. For the third quarter quell, the Capitol have put all the victors into the reaping, and after being promised to never be put back into the Games, they’re all not too thrilled about it. But whilst dealing with experienced killers who know how to play the game there’s only one thing to keep in mind… Remember who the real enemy is.

The film is a huge step up from the first. I thought the The Hunger Games was amazing until now. Catching Fire is so much more ‘put together’ thanks to director Francis Lawrence. It delves deeper into the darker political side of the books. It is no longer just for teens who crave the odd love triangle after the Twilight Saga finished, in fact the majority in the cinema last night were adults. Maybe that’s because it was a midnight showing and it was past their curfew, but who knows?

However, it doesn’t matter what age you are, this is a film that has the ability to touch everyone. Infact, if I had to describe the film in one word it would be moving. I would be lying if I said I didn’t cry, it was like reading the book all over again. There wasn’t one thing they did wrong. The speech in District 11, I cried. The scene with the Mockingjay dress, I cried. When Cinna dies, I cried.

But It wasn’t just the composition that made it moving, it was the performances. Jennifer Lawrence put everything into Katniss. She’s made her ballsy yet vulnerable whilst showing her determination to do what she can to protect the ones she loves and the people of Panem. Josh Hutcherson seemed more at ease playing Peeta who had evolved since the Games and some new faces were equally just as great, such as British actor Sam Clafin as Finnick, Jena Malone as Capitol-hating Johanna and Jeffrey Wright as tech savy Beetee.

So will Katniss live up to Panems expectations of her? Will she stand up and lead the rebellion as their Mockingjay? I’ve read the books, I already know, so what am I supposed to do now?

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