Staring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci, Jeffrey Wright, Amanda Plummer, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone and Phillip Seymour Hoffman.
Directed by: Francis Lawrence
‘Catching Fire’ is the sequel to the film ‘The Hunger Games’, which is based on Suzanne Collins best selling novels. ‘Catching Fire’ follows Katniss Everdeen and her fight to protect the ones around her. Her and Peeta Mellark become targets of the capital after winning The 74th Hunger Games in controversial fashion. The win has sparked a rebellion in the districts of Panem against the Capital. In an attempt to eliminate Katniss and Peeta, President Snow puts them in the quarter quell, which takes place every 25 years and puts past tributes from all districts into the arena to fight again.
‘Catching Fire’ is far superior to ‘The Hunger Games’ in a way I wasn’t expecting. The camera work was an improvement, as I wasn’t getting sick trying to follow the shaky cam. Francis Lawrence, who has directed films such as ‘I Am Legend’ and ‘Constantine, was a great choice as director for this franchise. He has a lot more experience directing these type of films than Gary Ross has. ‘Catching Fire’ brought a lot more intensity than I felt ‘The Hunger Games’ had. Everyone seemed to have a lot more to lose and it felt like no one was safe.
I was kept on the edge of my seat throughout the film, especially during the Quarter Quell. The difference between the first games and the Quarter Quell was the arena, which added lethal add ons to the area that the first games didn’t have. I didn’t read the book, so I didn’t expect what was to come during the games. The anticipation of what would happen next was a very exciting feeling, and is something I haven’t felt while watching a film in a very long time.
The love triangle between Peeta, Katniss and Gale was the only thing I felt a little iffy about going in. I knew there was a love triangle, but I didn’t know how it would transpire on screen. I’ve seen the ‘Twilight’ films, so I know how cheesy a love triangle in film can be. The good thing about ‘Catching Fire’ is the film doesn’t revolve around the love triangle, and although it’s a part of the film, it doesn’t get too much to bear. However, seeing Jennifer Lawrence kissing 2 guys every half hour was a little too much, but at the same time, it must have been fun for her and isn’t really anything to complain about.
Jennifer Lawrence continues to shine on screen. She is, in my opinion, one of the best young stars of our day. I have loved her in everything she’s been in and I wish her more success in the future. She becomes Katniss Everdeen in these films and I can’t say I’ve been many film adaptations where the actor becomes the character she’s playing. Stanley Tucci, Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks were also great and it was great to see Phillip Seymour Hoffman as the new game maker.
We will have to wait another year for another ‘Hunger Games’ film. Mockingjay: Part 1 will be released next November, with part 2 of the last instalment being released the following year. What I love about these films is the fact that they aren’t cheesy. There are some love triangles and emotional scenes, but unlike adaptations that we’ve seen recently like ‘Twilight’ and ‘The Host’, we are leaving the theatre feeling satisfied and talking about how great certain aspects such as acting and filmmaker were. That’s what I love about this film adaptation. The film can relate to the world we live in, but can also take us into a world that we hope to never be in. ‘Catching Fire’ was a great surprise for me, and that’s coming from a guy who was always very excited to see it.