The Hunger Games: Catching Fire: Movie Review
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Darker and more interesting than the original, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire grows up with its main character, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence). It's a more mature story, one that takes moviegoers on an intense journey exploring the birth of a dangerous rebellion.
This second installment in The Hunger Games quadrilogy contains scenes inappropriate for young viewers, hence the PG-13 rating (see explanation below for more).
THE MOVIE IN A MINUTE
Still reeling from her terrifying experience under the dome, Katniss reluctantly leaves her family and Gale (Liam Hemsworth) again for a "Victor's Tour" of the districts with her fellow Hunger Games victor Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson). On the trip, the two tributes witness signs that the people are rising up against their Capitol. As Panem prepares for the 75th Annual Hunger Games, President Snow (Donald Sutherland) announces a competition that alters everyone's fates.
THE GOOD AND BAD IN CATCHING FIRE
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has a depth to it, exploring themes such as how fear breeds compared to what hope breathes. This also sets the stage for the engaging story of a young woman's struggle against an oppressive power. Her discovery of what true love looks like and how to defend life when death is everywhere keeps you interested. The battles inside Katniss are as real as any rebel uprisings. She's no longer the young girl just trying to survive; she's a woman finding her courage to fight back.
Now an Oscar winner, Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook) wins us over with her dramatic portrayal of Katniss' desperation and nerve. Our hope is tied to hers as we watch her face the stark realities of her world and the hope still within her grasp.
One complaint would be the movie's abrupt ending. The final scene is clear enough for those who don't have the book knowledge fans do. However, more foreshadowing of what's to come would make it more of a cliffhanger.
Catching Fire is easier to digest as far as the action goes. The story's violence is depicted well enough on screen, and that's appreciated. For the most part, scenes imply danger and death, but do not focus on carnage or blood.
Even so, caution is still advised. Catching Fire's PG-13 rating is thanks to intense sequences of violence and action, some frightening images, thematic elements, a suggestive situation and language.
IN THE END
Catching Fire marks Katniss' triumphal return to the big screen. A story of hope and resilience, this sequel makes you hungry for more.
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