Directed: Francis Lawrence
Starring; Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and Woody Harrelson
Following the success of the Hunger Games (2012), director Francis Lawrence takes the throne. The prolonged sequel thrives on dramatic revolution rather than hunger games; which depending on your taste, is not a bad thing, rather a clever and more engaging concept that has set the trilogy in fantastic motion.
Haunted by the events from the last hunger games, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) struggles to adapt to the new lifestyle her victory in the hunger games has granted her. While her love for Gale (Liam Hemsworth) still stands, her new lifestyle prevents her from seeing him with President Snow scripting her every move. Katniss must maintain her relationship with Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) for the sake of her family by going on a victor's tour with Peeta to commemorate the fallen victims of the 74th hunger games. This is considered bad taste to the people in Panam, with talks of a revolution sending panic waves throughout the capital.
It is from then president Snow deems Katniss a savour of the people, therefore a liability to the capitol's hierarchy. President Snow along with Plutarch (Philip Seymore Hoffman) announce the 75th annual hunger games, with both Katniss and Peeta headlining the show.
A month before The Hobbit sequel hits cinemas, Catching Fire needed to have severe impact on fans global, and while I cannot speak for everyone, I will be very surprised if the drawn out vision of the Hobbit manages to outclass this tremendous visionary sequel. While the book squad will be out in force to analyse both the hobbit and hunger games, catching fire is a visually stunning movie with very little flaws.
The cast (and more) is a step up from its predecessor, introducing likeable (and not so); as Katniss and Peeta are forced to make allies with new characters such as Finnick, Beetee, cashmere and many more. Characters such as Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), Cinna (Lenny Kravtitz) and the peculiar Effi (Elizabeth Banks) all have a major part, in which gives the result of a sequel with way more depth. We see that each individual is torn between right and wrong, revolution and dictatorship.
Catching Fire is over two hours long, and may prove a drag to some. It is the progression from the ruins of the city, to the showdown in the 75th hunger games. Francis Lawrence aims to capture the aftermath of the previous events with drawn out but very relevant scenes. While some may be disappointed at the lack of action, the gritty visuals and character emotions should be enough to satisfy the true movie fan up until the last 45 minutes when the games get under way; however not everyone is graced with the same patience.
Overall, Catching Fire is a well crafted sequel that offers more drama than action scenes. The vision of Francis Lawrence is clear, in paving way for a third and now forth chapter in what has been (in my opinion) an intriguing combination of lust, drama and survival; a concept that has managed to better Twilight and The Hobbit (so far).