The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Year:
2013
Country:
USA
Genre:
Thriller, Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
IMDB rating:
7.7
Director:
Francis Lawrence
Amanda Plummer as Wiress
Alan Ritchson as Gloss
Paula Malcomson as Katniss' Mother
Sandra Ellis Lafferty as Greasy Sae
Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne
Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair
Nelson Ascencio as Flavius
Lenny Kravitz as Cinna
Willow Shields as Primrose Everdeen
Bruce Bundy as Octavia
Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen
Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy
Jena Malone as Johanna Mason
Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee
Jeffrey Wright as Beetee
Donald Sutherland as President Snow
Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket
Toby Jones as Claudius Templesmith
Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark
Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman
Storyline: Six months after winning the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen and her partner Peeta Mellark must go on what is known as the Victor's Tour, wherein they visit all the districts, but before leaving, Katniss is visited by President Snow who fears that Katniss defied him a year ago during the games when she chose to die with Peeta. With both Katniss and Peeta declared the winners, it is fueling a possible uprising. He tells Katniss that while on tour she better try to make sure that she puts out the flames or else everyone she cares about will be in danger.
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Reviews
A BATTLE ROYALE 2 Rip-Off The Highest Order
Some stories are built on passion, some on courage and some on hope. Very rarely do you come across a love story that encompasses itself around a life-or-death contest. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire introduces us to the world of Katniss Everdeen, who mirrors the most innocent of sentiments which lie locked up within the depths of our heart. She wins us over in the first frame, because she is one among us. It is not her heroism which makes her a heroine, but her vulnerability which makes her endear-able. The audience falls in love with Katniss because she is scared of the unknown just like us. What makes her a hero is her conviction and spirit, which makes her embark on a wide-spread journey for the search of love and faith. It is somewhere in that journey, that you no longer root for Jennifer Lawrence and her victory, but for Katniss and her belief, which makes The The Hunger Games: Catching Fire a winner right from the opening credits.

Her name is Katniss, Katniss Everdeen. Brought up in an unforgiving society, Katniss battles the alternate evils of racial profile and scornful peers with equal focus, trying to make sense of the world that burns homes, bullies people at school and make a false show of sympathy. She goes by the doctrine of the Mockingjay, which teaches her that there are two classes of people in the world, those who are good and would offer a lollipop and those who are bad and would point a sharp stick. There is no caste, creed or religion but just people who shape the world. It is this philosophy which Katniss carries forward in her love and faith, painting her journey in a collage of alternate light and dark emotions, shadow plays of human nature which guides her to the world or perhaps, guides the world towards her.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is appreciable because of its brilliance, acceptable for its nobility and unquestionable in its integrity. Suzanne Collins weaves in a tale of love, faith, strength and humanity within a cinematic frame of timeless minutes pulling out a riveting and compelling human drama of innocence poised against the system, through the filtered sensibilities of a patient suffering from the effects of unjust society, one who cannot understand the world, but love it enough to change it. The keynotes of each frame, drenched with subtle social comments and complex emotional undertones makes the movie an amalgamation of the colors of hope and persistence, with layered textures of unspoken bonds. With Katniss Everdeen, Collins succeeds in bringing the system on trial through the eyes of one who cannot bias herself on any ideology, making her emotions pure and though provoking, which touches the innermost chords of the heart, moistening the eyes and serenading the senses.

The story is filled with emotional subtexts which move at breakneck speed throughout the length of the film, constantly switching gears between the palettes of emotions. The dialogs exude class and confidence holding grip of the story yet laced with the finesse that allows for emotional drama combined with spiritual uprising, casting a dark satire on the entire system and its treatment of identities. The script penned by Collins is one of par excellence, allowing the audience to blend into Katniss through her smiles and tears, laugh in her joy and cringe with every blow dealt to her. The screenplay drops hypocritical moral ambitions to make scathingly relevant comments on modern outlook of the world, making it rise several notches above anything attempted in modern-day Hollywood.

In the end, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire becomes the experience it is because of Katniss and Peeta, essayed flawlessly by Lawrence and Hutcherson. Lawrence exudes the spirit of Katniss in every breath and pulse of the film, putting in a performance that is beyond any benchmark of excellence. She controls every single emotional nerve of the audience with vacant stares and dimpled smiles, towering like an illusionist conjuring up a magical performance of a lifetime. She breaks every stereotypical mould attached to her to rise like a phoenix from the ashes with Katniss, who reigns over the audience in a sweeping wave of emotions, establishing a bond that scales beyond the arc-lights of the 70mm screen. She is complimented by Hutcherson whose very presence lights up the entire room with just a flashing smile. He balances the sensitivity of love and charm with the emotional conflict of a ravaged heart with effortless poise. The interactions between Hutcherson and his merry company form the highlights of the film, filled with the cackling chemistry of a uninhibited passion, captivating the audience in the mesmerizing spell of the couple. Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy delivers a matured and restrained performance while Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne blends in simplicity with sensibility in a performance that comes straight from the heart. Donald Sutherland is exceptional as President Snow in his mannerisms while the supporting cast all deliver credible performances including Jena Malone in a dazzling cameo.

There will always be movies that enchant us with their magic, but there will hardly be a journey that goes beyond cinematic borders to deliver the experience of a lifetime. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is undoubtedly the new face of global cinema that enthralls with each passing frame, healing the hidden scars of the heart with its message of a better and humane world. There might be superheroes, but there will never be one Katniss Everdeen, who takes pride in being ordinary and yet changes the face of her world.

Earlier time scales used B.C. and A.D. to mark important events. After 14th December 2012, the scales of humanity would mark the world before and after the release of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

My Rating- 0/10 (Too derivative!!)
2014-07-21
More BATTLE ROYALE 2 ripoffs from a dying Hollywood.
Spoilers within: This one had pretty nice CGI, but only one character had any meat, Jennifer, whom was based on Shuya from BR2, though in this, she was usually sad or concerned or confused, but down, down, down. There are many wonderful actors in this from Phil to Natalie Dormer to Julianne to the first Hawkeye Pierce to Woody to Tucci to Liz, but none of them had much to do, and did it with a mediocre script that they don't seem to care is an abject RIPOFF. I even kept falling asleep with this slow pace, reminiscent of a soap opera's snail's pace. It seems this is part three of a four-part trilogy, speaking of oddities, and it is just a book turned around into mediocre movies. Haven't read the book, but can't wait for the predictable fourth installment, in which Katniss will surely beat Snow and his henchmen with sheer force of goodness and steely will. I'm getting ready to yawn and nod off as I write. With any luck, I won't go to Mockingjay Part 2.
2015-02-10
Very disappointing
To be fair , the first was borderline but I'd heard good reviews for this.... don't listen to them. Just utter drivel. A poor mans Battle Royal... and that's OK as films go. Concept is quite good but fails miserably in the delivery and story. Can't wait to miss the 3rd instalment. Apparently I need another 6 lines of text to point out the flaws in this film. Well I suppose we could start with asking "Did she fire six arrows or 42 " ... maybe a few extra were found that weren't necessary to include in the story. Then lets also look at the physics/power of a bow, the size of a reel of cable and other such stupidity thats included in the film. Fine, its fantasy but at least try to obey the basic laws of physics/mass etc .
2014-04-15
Badly directed with poor dialogue.
I went to see this movie after seeing that in IMDb, it got a rating of 8.3 out of 10. Even though I saw some bad reviews about it, I was certain that a movie that got such a high rating in this kind of site must have something to offer. My god was I wrong. Where do I begin?

Dialogue is poorly written and awkward at times. For example, when Peeta finds a pearl in the clam he just tells Katniss "For you" or something, and she replies with "Thanks" and takes the pearl. Wow. Just wow. What was the screenwriter or whoever writes that thing thinking? I honestly started laughing when I heard these lines.

Screen time is wasted and an hour and fifteen minutes into the movie, almost nothing happened and I started drifting away, something that has never happened in the first movie which I saw like three times. They did switch directors from the first movie, and it shows.

Unlike the previous Hunger Games, the sequel is plain boring, even in its most action-packed scenes, such as the toxic fog and the part where Peeta dies. So they manage to get past the fog and Peeta lives. Wooh, a twist! Everything that happens is so damn predictable and just uninteresting. Since over an hour passed until the games actually start, we don't get a chance to bond with the other tributes, and we just don't care about anyone except Katniss and Peeta. The part where the old lady runs into the fog in order to "save the others" could be much more emotional for the viewer if we only cared about her!

Also, ending a movie with a cliffhanger like this is just frustrating and plain lazy. This is something you can do in a TV series, where you get to see the resolution in the next episode in a week, but when done in a movie, it is clearly a way to force us viewers to watch the next sequel in order to get a satisfying resolution and cash-in on the way. In short, the ending is disappointing and doesn't resolve anything that happened so far. Did I just pay a full price for a prequel to when the story really kicks in to action?

I can go on and on about other things, such as the poor decision-making done by some of the characters (The bare-chested tribute knifing down the genius' wife while exposing himself to Katniss shooting him in the chest) or the stereotypical depiction of soldiers being sadistic, ruthless and unmerciful like robots instead of showing some small shred of humanity. I mean seriously, the Nazis weren't this cruel.

However, there are some good sides to this movie. Jennifer Lawrence acts wonderfully and does try to express some of Katniss' feelings. She does a great job. Josh Hutcherson gives a decent performance as well, playing the confused-from-love-and-fame Peeta. Other side-characters are depicted very well, and the overall acting in this film is superb.

Here and there there are some stronger scenes that save the movie from being a total bore, such as the fight against the baboons and Katniss and Peeta's first speech which was wonderfully acted.

Overall, this is a 5. There are some bright spots here and there in this movie, but they are just outweighed by the general boredom and heaviness of the rest of the film, and I found myself not giving a damn about nearly anything that happened on screen. Great acting and some strong scenes are burdened by poor dialogue and weak directing.

And that's pretty much it. I can't believe that this movie is believed to be one of 2013's best movies.
2013-11-25
Terrible
My friend and I walked out. .

1) Poor writing (on par with 4 out of 5 Hollywood movies these days).

This includes poor character development, unnatural dialogue, and a boring plot with no explanation of the world or characters (similar to the first, which I almost turned off). No explanation of the previous movie. (My friend hadn't seen the first. Even I saw the first and felt the dialogue was assuming too much).

2) Length - It felt like a first draft everyone was too afraid to edit down (and switch around). A shorter film (around 90 minutes) means a more concise story, and money left over in the budget to improve everything overall. From a business perspective, keeping people in their seats longer has no benefits in making the film money. Quantity does not equal quality.

3) Instead of trying to challenge or educate young people or teens (their target audience) about the world and politics by providing an intelligent story, they are doing the opposite.

Writing is the essence, which holds everything together and gives purpose. It is the mind of the film and the rest is the body. No amount of excellent sound, cinematography, good looking actors, special effects, or creative costumes can mask a poorly written or shallow story.
2013-12-01
One of the most boring movies ever!
I watched this movie in a fantastic IMAX cinema with great company and no expectations. It was the perfect setting for a good movie to bamboozle me. Instead I must say that I just cannot understand how this movie has gotten such a high score. It was absolutely terrible. Nothing, Absolutely nothing happens for the first 1 hour and 15 minutes. By nothing, I don't just mean no action, I mean NOTHING!. Then for 25 minutes it moves from Nothing to a bit and then the movie ends.

The only reason I haven't given this movie a 1 is that I can't really fault the acting.

Please spare yourself this misery, unless you need a nap.
2013-11-28
Battle Royale II remake, wholly uncredited.
Mockingjay is like one of those films that the robots make fun of on MSTK3.

The only saving grace to this movie is the music the ripped off from the original—and mind you, this soundtrack is not even their best music. The music for Doggie Bag and Yumiko was so much better. People still listen to "Princes of the Universe" to this day, but I doubt anybody breaks out their old 45 of "Hanging Tree!" LPs The acting was BAD! Especially by the lead female. She was clearly cast in this role because her resemblance to Tatsuya Nanahara, and not her acting talent. The set looked like it came from a 70's kids show, and the costumes were terribly dated and cheesy.

A lot of people claim that it's supposed to be cheesy… Well that may be. But there is good cheese, and bad cheese…and this was just bad cheese. It's like they set out to make a sf block-buster…and then said "heck with it." It's like the neighborhood kids decided to put on the "Battle Royale 2" play for their parents, so they threw on their parent's old disco clothes and borrowed a crappy set from the community theater. It's just.that.bad.
2015-02-08
Great, pulse-pounding and exhilarating.
The Hunger Games was great. Catching Fire is a masterpiece. Jennifer Lawrence is brilliant as Katniss, and Josh Hutcherson is great as Peeta. This film is a large improvement over it's predecessor, with less shaky can, and more scenes in District 12. They also toned down the love triangle, which is great. The addition of Phillip Seymour Hoffman's Plutarch Heavensbee is great, and the story-line is good as well. The Games were portrayed very well, and the action was pulse-pounding. However, the Careers were much less of a threat than in the first film, and Katniss doesn't do hand-to-hand combat at all. Those are the only bad stuff I can think of, since the film was great, and there wasn't a single dull moment in it. All the new tributes were interesting, especially Finnick, Johanna and Beetee. This film is great, and is a must-watch.
2016-08-29
Great reviews a mystery...
I am at a complete loss as to why this movie has garnered such good reviews...

My wife and I saw the movie last night inside a packed theater. Upon the appearance of the credits following the movie, we overheard many fans of the first film lament how they found the sequel to be both boring and tedious. I must agree. While I was not a huge fan of the 1st film, I did find that it held my interest most of the time - despite having cringe-worthy dialogue and gaping plot holes. That said, I decided to give the sequel a chance after reading review-after-review praising the new film, most stating that the sequel was significantly better than the first. Say what?

Along with my fellow movie-goers, I found the first 2/3 of the movie to be an exercise in staying awake - bad dialogue (again) and even less character development than the first movie - all adding up to "I don't care what happens to these people!" Only when Donald Sutherland, Philip Seymour Hoffman or Woody Harrelson were on screen was I able to stifle a yawn - they're just fun to watch. Too bad their screen time was minimal...

The last 1/3 of the movie was far more interesting than the first 2/3 yet it seemed to be a replay (plot-wise) of the 1st movie. Curiously enough, I have watched several movies from the 1970's and 1980's with very similar plot-lines (some made-for-TV) that better held my attention and had significantly better dialogue. Perhaps if the time and money spent on over-the-top CGI and special effects was instead invested in creating a tight script with charismatic actors playing the leads, the result would be far more satisfying.
2013-11-24
a passable prologue and a most disappointing ending ...
Really, this movie has a quite nice prologue ... but as it turns out its all prologue. We see the home front, then a tour of the provinces, followed by the splendour of the capital. A spectacular triumph for the survivors of the gladiatorial games of the past. All the competitors are given a nice blade-runner like intro sequence. They each have a 'special skill' (ie. sort of a super-power). Just in case you missed this, they get another intro via an all-live all-province glammed up TV interview. Very flash! But it is all building up to the 'games' and when we finally get to those games they are over before they really get started.

And it turns out this time its a team sport rather than a first person shooter type of game as in the first movie. Our heroine of course is pretty good with a bow (her 'super power'). But when it comes to choosing team-mates that's when the plot starts to fall down. In a fight to the death with no chance of a reprieve do you (a) choose the carnivorous teeth sharpened jugular biting woman from the district where they have to go head to head with large vicious baboons ('think beauty and the beast -- she's both') or (b) do you choose the nice little old lady who dabbles with healing herbs? Do you go for the guy who can throw a spear with enough force to mow down 5 holograms in a row or do you choose the weirdos in the corner puttering about with the arts & crafts who the others nickname "nuts and volts". Maybe 'Volts' is a misunderstood genius but the herb lady is so old and arthritic she has to be carried everywhere she goes, and her herbs are pretty much useless.

So OK, our heroine is pretty good with a bow but is not very smart and is useless at picking team-mates. But she has an adviser who should know what he is doing; who tells her 'stay away from nuts & volts ... and don't even think about that nice little old lady'. But who does she end up with as team-mates? How does this happen? Its not exactly clear. Supposedly they are planning the great 'revolution', but its not a revolution that our heroine wants any part of. She seems to have no political ideas, and no ideas on how to win the games. I'm quite partial to revolution and political ideas (like Terry Gilliam's Brazil) but actually there is nothing revolutionary or political in this movie. It makes Luke Skywalker look like he has a PhD in political science, so devoid is it of any real social commentary or political insight. OK, she comes from a remote mining district and so is not very well educated, and has little to no social skills or political savvy. And the older wiser authority figure is no Obi-Wan Kenobi who can tell her what is happening or given any useful advice (his special skill seems to be drinking straight from the bottle). And so she gets it into her small unthinking mind that she should sacrifice herself for her 'great love Peeta' (or as we would call him ... Peter). Never mind that she does not really care for him and that their 'love' is a ploy by the state to keep the masses contented. He is a bit like her gay best friend ... useless, no special skills of any kind, always falling over, running into force fields and that kind of thing ... but looks good on TV and and gives good motivational speeches. So of course he is on her team ... and when we finally get to the games she is constantly mumbling 'we have to save Peeta'. That gets old really fast! For 2 hours we wait for these great games to get started (which are supposed to entertain and thrill the entire world's population) and then all we get is a bit of wandering around in the jungle and mumbling about how 'Peeta' must survive. Even though the old lady with the herbs and who need a wheelchair is more likely to live longer than this toyboy! There is no fighting, no devious plots, no 'thumbs up or thumbs down' moments. What is the first thing that happens? 'Peeta' runs into a force field (despite having been given a tutorial about detecting force fields). He should have been blown to bits but seemingly by magic he is brought back to life (no, not by the herb lady -- that would have made too much sense).

Once they've wandered around the jungle a bit they need a plan. The 'game makers' have left a spool of cable lying about and 'Volts' immediately comes up with a 'plan' that is just a rehash of the one he used to win (by some miracle it seems) a previous game. Past games are of course televised and studied by all the gladiators, so anyone could tell you will end in disaster ... and of course it does turn out to be a complete disaster. But then just before being blasted to oblivion our heroine comes up with the idea of plugging an extension cord from the bedroom socket into the kitchen socket. Will this form the great infinite electrical loop that will destroy the world's electrical grid? All that will happen is that if you are not careful you will get a nasty shock and die. And we would say good riddance to them. But our heroine (as if by magic) survives the nasty shock, being only stunned ... but is mistaken for dead by the 'game makers' who helicopter her seemingly dead body out. Depriving us of the GAME! The title being "Hunger Games" ... and the so called 'games' end seemingly before they have begun. Games which we have waited more than 2 hours to get started. Now that is a disappointment!
2013-12-08
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