Monday, December 9, 2013

Movie Review - The Hunger Games, Catching Fire - By Daniel Kilgallon

Run Time: 146 mins

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is a science fiction adventure film based on the novel Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, the second installment in her Hunger Games trilogy. Having read the books, it has been quite interesting to watch them adapt to the big screen. I am a huge fan of the first book, The Hunger Games. It is one of my absolute favorite novels. I thought that the studio did a pretty good job of converting it to a film, but as usual, the book was much better than the movie. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy the next two novels in the series nearly as much as the first. Due to this disappointment, I was quite skeptical heading into the sequel to last year’s blockbuster. 

Surprisingly, I thought that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was on par with the first movie and was actually a lot better than the novel it is based on. This is a rare feat in cinema. 

The dystopian film takes place in the ruins of what was once North America, now known as Panem. The government rules with an iron fist, using an intimidating and disturbing method to punish their nation for an uprising in the past. Every year, the Capitol forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games, a fight to the death televised nationally. The last one standing is crowned victor. 

Katniss Everdeen, portrayed wonderfully by Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence, and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) defied the rules of the games as they were crowned co-victors of the 74th annual Hunger Games together at the end of the first movie. This seemed to spark a rebellion in the country and the two made themselves targets of the Capitol. For the 75th games, the Capitol decides to have previous winners compete in the games again. Since Katniss and Peeta fit into that category, they are forced to fight for their lives once more. This successful, fast-paced sequel is action packed, well-acted and loaded with surprising plot twists.

A shocking ending to this movie left me with many questions, making me quite excited for the epic finale. The concluding novel of the trilogy, Mockingjay will be split into two movies, following the same method as the Harry Potter and Twilight franchises. They will be released as separate parts in November 2014 and 2015.

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