The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)
Running Time: 146 minutes
Directed by: Francis Lawrence
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson
Following up after the first Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence) returned home to District 12 after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with her fellow tribute, Peeta Mellark (Hutcherson). However, a rebellion is building up in the other Districts after Katniss and Peeta’s stunt at the game, and President Snow (Sutherland) who is afraid that the government will be overrun, throws in a surprise for Katniss at the Quarter Quell (75th Annual Hunger Games) in hopes to quiet down the rebellion.
After the disappointment from the first movie, I was a bit doubtful about this installment, however, to my surprise I found Catching Fire to be a more truthful to the novel itself. The scriptwriters did an amazing job of capturing the essence of the characters and the book in the film, they managed to fit in most of the crucial scenes in the book, so in summary, the writers did a great job in adapting the book into a film. The director also did an amazing job with the film, by first getting rid of most of the handheld camera shots that were used in a lot of the scenes in the first film. The other thing that is commendable, is the way the film was shot throughout to capture the characters’ hardships, and their personalities, especially with the older tributes, the scenery blended in perfectly with what was described in the books. All in all, I’m glad Francis Lawrence got the job, and did a great job with it.
The cast themselves did a wonderful job with the characters, especially Lawrence, it felt like she had more control with the character, though there were moments I couldn’t help but doubt whether she conveyed too much pain and sorrow as Katniss. The other commendable cast members include, Elizabeth Banks as the quirky Effie Trinket, Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman, the host of the show, Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair (though I am more curious as to whether he could pull it off for the next film), Jena Malone as Johanna Mason, and Amanda Plummer as Wiress.
The costumes and makeup department went all out with the characters, I was really impressed with the costumes for Katniss and Effie. Moreover, the amount of detail and effort put into the design of the props was stunning, kudos to the props department. Last but not least, the score for the movie, well done! The soundtrack for this time was not as good as the previous film, but the score was great.
Overall, a great adaptation, with a great ensemble, and fantastic direction, I cannot wait to see what Francis Lawrence will do for the final installment.
Rating: 8 out of 10