Posted by Hannah Buchdahl aka Mainstream Chick on November 23, 2013
Catching Fire is both satisfying and frustrating in that it definitely leaves you hungry for more. Sadly, the final installment of the Hunger Games trilogy won’t be dished out for a while, and even worse, it’ll be broken up into TWO additional flicks! As sequels go, Catching Fire is about as good as it gets. The characters, old and new, are well-drawn and well acted. There’s humor, horror, anticipation, allegory and dread as our heroine, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is forced back onto the battlefield for another fight to the death, along with her Hunger Games co-victor and fellow tribute Peeta (Josh Hutcherson). If none of that makes any sense, you’re probably going to skip the movie anyway. So cruise around the Chickflix site for some other cinematic options! For the rest of you, here’s all you need to know as Catching Fire sets the box office ablaze:
The film picks up with Katniss and Peeta having returned home to District 12 after winning (i.e. surviving) the 74th Annual Hunger Games. The Capitol sends them on a victory tour across Panem, but the evil President Snow (Donald Sutherland) doesn’t like what he sees: a rebellious spirit fostered by a ray of hope that Katniss and her mockingjay have come to symbolize. So he and the new head game-maker (Philip Seymour Hoffman) concoct a plan to hold a special 75th Hunger Games “Quarter Quell” that forces Katniss back into the arena as part of a “Survivor All-Star”-esque competition. Bring on the bow and arrows!
The supporting cast includes old favorites like Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), Cinna (Lenny Kravitz), Effie (Elizabeth Banks) and the hysterical scene-stealing emcee, Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci), as well as some new faces including Sam Claflin and Jena Malone as former victors Finnick and Johanna.
I read (and for the most part, enjoyed) the “Hunger Games” trilogy by Suzanne Collins, so I’m admittedly invested. And while I generally prefer that movies actually end with some sense of closure, I’m cautiously optimistic that when all is said and done, the film franchise will triumph over the books in terms of a satisfying conclusion. May the odds be ever in our favor.