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Saturday, November 23, 2013

[REVIEW] The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire starts off where The Hunger Games ended. Katniss and Peeta are getting ready to participate in the Victory Tour throughout Panem. This years Hunger Games is the 75th which means its the Quarter Quell. So all past victors are going to be forced back into the area that they so desperately fought out of in years past.
:: Minor Spoilers ::

Let me start off by saying that this film is far superior to the first movie. Lead by the direction of new director Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend, Constantine) it breathes new life into this meek and gritty universe.Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen) is great as usual. She plays more up the fake pretty girl routine in this film then she did in the first film. Which was from the books but left out in the first film.

Josh Hutcherson (Peeta Melerk) plays a semi-pissed off Peeta this time around cause he knows Katniss is in love with Gale. They play up the teen love triangle this time around. He soon forgives her after they are both thrust back into the area after volunteering for Haymitch.

Once again Liam Hemsworth (Gale) doesn't have much to do but to move along the love triangle story. Its not that the screenwriters decided to cut out his screen time but in all honesty in the books he doesn't do much until the third books.

They do give Willow Shields (Primrose Everdeen) more to do and shows her experiences in being a nurse. Definitely to foreshadow future events.  Of course Woody Harrelson (Haymitch), Elizabeth Banks (Effie), and Lenny Kravitz (Cinna) all provide perfect supporting cast that carry's over from the first film.

The biggest breakout stars of this film are Jena Malon (Joanna) Sam Claflin (Finnick) and Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Plutarch Heavensbee). First Jena Malona was spectacular and my personal favorite of all the actors. She brings this level of hurt (like all the past victors) but glossed over with this 'Dont Fuck With Me' kind of personality and I mean that quite literally. Also, her striping elevator scene is the greatest introduction to any character in the history of The Hunger Games. You never know what side she is on but its nice to know shes not what she seems. Sam Claftin as Finnck was almost perfect as was in the books. He wasn't that memorable in Snow White & The Huntsman but this performance will most definitely lead to new doorways for future films in his career. Lastly Phillip Seymour Hoffman who plays the brand new Game Maker (After the death of Seneca Crane) is the most perfect anti-hero. Most of the film he is working side-by-side of evil baddie President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and you really don't know why but you will get a pleasant surprise...

All in all this film surpassed the first film in ever way possible. Thank-god for no more shaky cam. With a Running time just over 2 and a Half hours its quite lengthy before they reach the area but its worth the emotional roller coaster to feel for Katniss. Now I personally hate the comparison films have with such films like Star Wars or Lord of the Rings but this movie really is The Empire Strikes Back of this franchise. This may be based off a female lead teen best seller....but it surpasses Twilight, Divergent, and Mortal Instruments in every single way possible thanks to Jennifer Lawrence. I can't wait to see how Francis Lawrence brings this epic series to its conclusion in Mockingjay Parts 1 & 2.

Currently has a 8.3/10 on IMDB & 89% on Rotten Tomato's...

I give this 4 out of 5 stars!

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Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Superhero Movie News. A frequent collaborator with the Editors on Comic Book Movie, The Daily Superhero, Think McFly Think and Comic Book Therapy. Film Critic By Day. Fanboy By Night. Born with Mad Jedi and Ninja Skittles. And a connoisseur of fine headbanging music.