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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Reviewed by Galen Strickland

If you have read and enjoyed the book trilogy, and if you felt the first film was a good adaptation, I feel certain you will think Catching Fire is an even better experience. If, like me, you simply liked both but weren't overly enthused about them, the second film won't be a waste of your time or money, but like the first it will leave you underwhelmed. This one is better paced and expands more on the history of the Games and the government that runs them, but everything is too predictable, too clichéd, to be that effective. I swear the only thing Sutherland didn't do to affirm he is a despicable villain is twirl his mustache. Then again, maybe he did and I just didn't notice, but it would have been a perfect fit for how his character was portrayed.

Jennifer Lawrence will NOT be receiving an Oscar nomination for this film, or if she does then whatever little respect (not much) that I still have for the Motion Picture Academy will be forfeit. Although I've been impressed with other work she has done, her performances as Katniss have been very wooden. Then again, maybe that was intended, since Katniss isn't really the hero of her own story. She's not a leader, no matter what President Snow might think. She only reacts to situations rather than taking control of them. She has to rely on others to carry the burden, whether it be Peeta, Gale, or Haymitch, Finnick Odair, Beetee or Johanna Mason. She's just a figurehead manipulated by everyone else, and not smart enough to realize it.

As with my review of the first film, this one is not going to matter to those already inclined to like it. It will make even more money, already having set November box office records. The only reason I'll be looking forward to Mockingjay (unfortunately expanded to two films) is that Danny Strong is writing the screenplays. Since it was my least favorite of the books, I'm hoping he can shape them into a more satisfying story. I'm pretty sure I can't rely on the actors or the director for that. I know this is an extremely short review, but I don't think the film deserves any more of my time.


Related Links:
My review of the book trilogy.
My review of the first film.
Eliza DoLot's review of the first film.


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Francis Lawrence

Simon Beaufoy
Michael deBruyn

November 22, 2013

Jennifer Lawrence
Woody Harrelson
Josh Hutcherson
Liam Hemsworth
Donald Sutherland
Elizabeth Banks
Lenny Kravitz
Stanley Tucci
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Sam Claflin
Jena Malone
Jeffrey Wright
Amanda Plummer
Willow Shields
Paula Malcomson

Full Credits at IMDb

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