Movie Review: Catching Fire

After winning the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) hoped she could fade into the background, living her regular life in District Twelve, content with the knowledge her winnings would keep her family alive. But fate had other things in store for Katniss and her pseudo-boyfriend Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), with their love story becoming a symbol of hope for the downtrodden districts. Unfortunately, the last thing The Capitol wants is for the districts to have hope, because hope means revolution. And so President Snow (Donald Sutherland) decides something must be done to catch the fire of revolution before it spreads.

And so for the 75th Hunger Games, the third Quarter Quell, it was announced all Tributes would be reaped from the pool of previous victors to prove that nobody is invincible. As the only female victor in District Twelve’s history, that means back into the arena for Katniss. And despite the planning of Katniss and mentor Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), it also means back into the arena for Peeta.

Capitol-Portraits-The-Hunger-Games-Catching-Fire

With an engagement, a fake pregnancy, a President out for blood, and twenty-two bitter fellow tributes, the road back into the Hunger Games was never going to be an easy one.

Mish and I went into the Sydney premiere of Catching Fire with high expectations, and we were certainly not disappointed.

The majority of the movie is set outside of the arena, which was surprising, but worked exceptionally well.

The film was emotional from the very beginning, with tears being shed by most of the audience in the first half hour.

victory tour

The stand out “grab your tissues” scene was District Eleven stop on the Victory Tour. District Eleven was the home of Rue (and Thresh) from the 74th Hunger Games, and Katniss’ tribute speech was absolutely heartbreaking. Other highlight power-scenes included Johanna Mason’s (Jena Malone) pure anger towards the Capitol, Finnick Odair’s (Sam Claflin) general existence, and the on-stage solidarity between the tributes at the final ceremony. Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci) was also, as usual, a shining star, as was Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks). Effie, especially, showed brilliant character development from the first film, and her reaction at the reaping left me absolutely devastated.

The scenes inside the arena were fast paced and action packed, but also felt slightly rushed. The monkeys and the fog were just as horrifying, if not more so, than they seemed in the book, but everything else in the actual games paled in comparison to the lead up of the first three quarters of the film.

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The ending of the film was the perfect cliffhanger (well, ‘cliffhanger’ seeing as most of the world has read the books) to lead onto Mockingjay Part One, due for release this time next year.

Fans of the series will be thrilled with this film addition, and non-fans will find it a thoroughly enjoyable movie. The only downside was perhaps that Gale Hawthorn (Liam Hemsworth) was only in a handful of scenes. Thankfully, the ending leaves us with the promise of him playing a much larger role in the final two films.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is in Australian Cinemas today (21st November 2013) through Roadshow films. 

Rating: 4.75/5

frangipani princess xoxo

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