Movie Reviews

Published on November 19th, 2013 | by gareth


The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The international success of “The Hunger Games” has had fans the world over eagerly awaiting the next film in the series. Since “The Hunger Games” earned record box office, star Jennifer Lawrence has gone on to win an Academy Award and has become a rising star in Hollywood.


“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” picks up nearly a year after the events of the first film, as Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence), struggles to deal with the events of what happened to her a year earlier. She and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), put up a brave front for the cameras as a united couple, but in actuality, they live apart in the Victor’s Village of District 12.


Katniss spends much of her time with her mom and sister and has fallen back into a relationship with her childhood friend Gale (Liam Hemsworth).


Shortly before Katniss and Peeta are to embark on a Victory Tour of the districts, Katniss is visited by President Snow (Donald Sutherland), who tells Katniss in no uncertain terms that he is not happy with how she showed him up at the conclusion of the past games and if she values her life as well as that of her loved ones, then she had better make him believe that she and Peeta are still an item.


The tour gets off to a rough start when dissent appears in the assembled crowds, and protestors are dealt with in a brutal fashion by the assembled Peacekeepers. Katniss and Peeta are told by their mentor Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), that they can only hope to survive the game and not win, and that they need to follow his advice as well as that of Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks), if they want to live a long and happy life.

Depite their best efforts, President Snow is not appeased and to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the games, he orders that the tributes from each district be made up of past winners. The plan to eliminate Katniss once and for all by putting her in the games again with an elite squad of killers in an arena designed by new Gamesmaster Plutarch Heavensbee (Phillip Seymour Hoffman).


Forced to make allies to survive the games again, Peeta and Katniss meet charismatic Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin) and crazy Johanna Mason (Jena Malone), as they battle in ta deadly tropical arena to survive.


Despite being a bit slow getting started, the movie follows the book fairly closely and has very strong performances form the leads and supporting cast. The film is visually impressive and the action is fast and intense.


Despite reading the book and knowing the story, I was drawn in and was caught up in the action from the start and was one of the more enjoyable experience at the movies for me in 2013.


So much so, that I am already looking forward to the two-part finale of “Mockingjay” as I cannot wait to see what they come up with next.


4.5 stars out of 5.

About the Author

Syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. His work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site and publication “Skewed and Reviewed”. He has three books of film, game reviews and interviews published and is a well-received and in demand speaker on the convention circuit. Gareth has appeared in movies and is a regular guest on a top-rated Seattle morning show. He has also appeared briefly in films such as “Prefountaine”, “Postal”. “Far Cry”. and others. Gareth is also an in-demand speaker at several conventions and has conducted popular panels for over two decades.

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