Things heat up on the big screen in Catching Fire, the second instalment of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy, when the the victors of the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), are targeted by the Capitol after their victory ignites a rebellion in the twelve Districts of Panem. Does this sequel have what it takes to survive a second time in the box-office arena, or does this series need to die a bloody death? Read on!
The Good: Wow, this movie is stellar. The cast is top notch, with Lawrence giving a fantastic performance as Katniss Everdeen. The cinematography is dazzling and the special effects are equally as amazing. Plus the screenplay is great, with minor plot changes and omissions that actually propel the story in ways that both respects and enhances the source material. And boy is this film dark; I love how they don’t shy away from how bleak the story is, really giving this brilliant cast something to sink their teeth into.
The Gay: Man, these Games are sure making me hungry! Hutcherson is still cute as ever, and Liam Hemsworth is even more hunkalicious as Katniss’ love interest, Gale. Plus Lenny Kravitz is still scrumptious as Katniss’ stylist, Cinna. Add to those hotties some fresh meat, with Sam Clafin (Snow White and the Huntsmen) flashing his biceps and gleaming smile as District 4 victor Finnick Odair and beeftacular Alan Ritchson as District 1 victor, Gloss.
Lawrence looks smoking as ever as Katniss, and her dresses were so glam! Werk! And Jena Malone gives JLaw a run for her money as feisty District 7 victor Johanna Mason, in a flirtatious elevator strip scene.
The Bad: This movie is long! But that’s not such a bad thing, cuz it’s nearly three hours of amazing entertainment. So not too much to report here. Moving on!
The Fugly: Those gloriously atrocious outfits that Elizabeth Banks wears as Effie Trinket. They’re so gawdy, they’re glorious!
Catching Fire: Hot or not?: Um, why are you still reading this? Go buy your ticket now and go see this movie! It’s a huge improvement over the first Hunger Games, and it sets a new benchmark for how movie sequels should be made. But you may have to fight your way at your local cineplex to score a ticket, so good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor.
The Grade: A