Friday, November 22, 2013

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

Number Rolled: N/A
Movie Name/Year: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)
Genre: Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Length: 146 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Director: Francis Lawrence
Writer: Simon Beaufoy, Michael Arndt, Suzanne Collins
Actors: Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Paula Malcomson, Willow Shields, Donald Sutherland, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Sam Claflin, Lynn Cohen, Jena Malone, Stanley Tucci, Toby Jones, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Wilbur Fitzgerald, Patrick St. Esprit, Alan Ritchson, Stephanie Leigh Schlund, Meta Golding, Bruce Bundy, Nelson Ascencio, Jack Quaid, Taylor St. Claire, Sandra Ellis Lafferty, Jeffrey Wright, Amanda Plummer, E. Roger Mitchell, Bruno Gunn, Maria Howell

Katniss has already won the hunger games and is trying to live with the memories of the arena. Suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, she distances herself from Peeta and attempts to return to life as normal in District 12. She learns quickly, with a visit from President Snow, that life can never be normal again.

After this point, there are spoilers for the books and movie ahead. Read at your own risk.

I’m a huge fan of the books, so it’s no surprise that I was in love with the first of the Hunger Games trilogy. With the knowledge that no movie could be exactly word-for-word what the book was, without running up to six hours long, I thought it was about as close to perfect as possible. It showed the hunger, the desperation, the depravity – all the things that make “The Hunger Games” what it is.

For this story to work out, people need to see and feel what the characters are feeling. Without the quiet rebellion of Katniss or the outward rebellion of Gale, we wouldn’t really see the problem with the world they live in. After all, we have classes in our world too, right?

Suzanne Collins was a master of emotion in the books. She knew how to suck readers in and make them a part of the story. That raises the bar for the movies to an extreme height.

The first film was perfect. The second was still amazing, but not quite up to my standards.

I’ll say that the director and script writers were amazing at keeping most of the big scenes in. Finnick with Mags and the sugar cubes, Johanna getting naked in the elevator, Cinna’s beating, Peeta’s near-death, the protection of Peeta and Katniss in the arena, Katniss hanging Seneca Crane; it was all there. However, there was one item missing from one scene that I believe was absolutely unforgiveable; Plutarch never showed Katniss the mockingjay pocket watch. It seems small at first. After all, it took only one sentence to describe and it would have taken about three seconds to accomplish, but that single action set the entire tone for the second book. It is at that moment that clues start to weave together about the uprising spreading outside of the districts. The movie did some other things to convey that image, but it failed to really portray it as well as it should have. That tiny pocket watch had a big place in the story. It was iconic. It should have been there.

There were other missing scenes, but they weren’t important. The problem was, without them, the story seemed a little choppy and rushed. Like there was little to nothing aiding in the transition from huge scene to huge scene. It became a little more like a vision of highlights instead of a cohesive story.

The worst problem was that they tried to stick too closely to the book. However, those big scenes were amazing and they depicted exactly what they were supposed to, so the choppy feel is almost acceptable. I would have liked to see evidence of the book that Katniss put together with Peeta or Haymitch’s withdrawal, but those are scenes I admit the story did fine without.

With only one unforgiveable error and a general tone issue (as well as a jackass sitting behind me that was on the phone the entire time), I still loved the movie. I have plans to see it in the theaters a second time.

Overall Opinion – 4/5

Movie Trailer: 


  1. Worth the watch, especially if you want to see this story continue on and develop some more. Good review Selina.

    1. As a general fan of the story, I'll always agree with people watching it further develop. Thanks for reading!