Hello, all! I'm back again with my attempt of reviewing The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. This shall be spoiler free.
Catching Fire blew me out of the water when I saw in the theater. Just blew me away. I wasn't expecting anything fantastic but it made me a solid fan of the franchise. It felt like there was an real effort made to make everything better then the last one and it showed!
In short, the plot picks up with something of an aftermath of the last movie, showing how things are changing because Katniss and Peeta both won. We see them become public celebrities of The Capitol, while behind the scenes they are more and more disgusted with tyranny and ignorance. President Snow, seeing how Katniss has become a symbol of rebellion among the people, devices a plan to have her and other victors be gotten rid of in the special 75th Hunger Games.
Overall this movie was just fantastic.
The acting was well done by everyone, especially Jennifer Lawrence. The special effects were really amazing, the costumes were out of this world, the action was done very well and there was lots of emotion that made the entire film very sad yet beautiful. The use of the shaky cam is completely gone from the cinematography, thank heavens, making it much easier to focus throughout the film. Can I just say the Arena was unbelievably clever and well done?! The running time of the whole movie is long but it sure didn't seem like a long time to me. I was fully invested the entire time, never bored, and I'm glad they didn't try to make it shorter than it was.
On a whole, it is a lot more grittier and darker than the first Hunger Games movie but that's a good thing.
My favorite part was probably how I was able to really connect with the characters. I really appreciated how the darker, harder times made the characters feel more real and gave them proper development.
I understood Haymitch's drinking and I felt bad for Effie as the games were now hurting her a little bit too. I really liked Katniss and how raw her character was. We saw some great emotion from her, in some little moments as well as big. I also really liked Peeta. In the first movie, I didn't really have an opinion about him but this time around I became a fan of him because he knew how to play the idea of the games to his advantage and just went out of his way to be a good, supporting friend to Katniss.
The introduction to the character Johanna was great; she was rather zany with a sad past and I ended up really liking her. The other character I liked seeing more of was President Snow. He was barely there in the first movie but he was definitely the big threat in the sequel and I think he makes a good villain!
One thing I really, really liked was how this time around we (and Katniss) saw a bigger picture. The games' participants were no longer the bad guys, President Snow and The Capitol were. This kept a repeat of the games feeling very fresh and not at all 'repeated', although it easily could have. It also made for interesting interactions between the contestants, quite different from last time.
The other thing I liked was that movie did a fantastic job showing how twisted the games were yet making it seem rather familiar. With Ceasar's fun character turning each blood bath into a new exciting 'game' and how we see Katniss and Peeta's public lives become so twisted from the truth, it really made me think of the American media. How unrealistic our 'reality TV' actually is and how controlling our government can be. The idea of Panem and the games really doesn't seem like a far-fetched dystopian future for us, in my opinion, and I think that's a point Suzanne Collins was trying to make with her books. Catching Fire presented this message very well without being too loud.Overall, the bar's been raised by the entire film and I can't wait to see their attempts of making Mocking Jay Part 1 just as amazing. Who else is looking forward to that next movie?!
Thanks again Jamie for another great post! If you have not already, you can read my review for Hunger Games: Catching Fire and please check back tomorrow for my review of the Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition.