The Hunger Games was a phenomenon. A book adaptation starring Jennifer Lawrence, in the lead role of Katniss Everdeen. The film was based on the book written by Suzanne Collins. Fast forward a year and a half and we've got the sequel, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Director Francis Lawrence has taken over the franchise, and the entire original cast has returned. If the first film was only the spark to something greater... this film totally catches fire! Let's go!
What I liked about the film:
Jennifer Lawrence just keeps getting better and better. Seriously, this young woman is an incredible actress, and she shows it in this film. She perfectly portrays what Katniss is dealing with internally. The character is dealing with the fact that she has killed people. She will never be able to shake that off, and she's essentially been trapped in a fake life. Lawrence has to juggle confusion, anger and compassion without having the character fall apart. It's only because of Lawrence that the film's narrative can be carried out so flawlessly. Not only is she a beautiful actress, but she's an incredibly talented one as well. And the final frame of the film will have you mesmerized by her performance until the next film.
Josh Hutcherson returns as District 12's other tribute, Peeta Mellark. While I felt Hutcherson came off as a whiny, love-struck woos in the first film, that's not the case here! Hutcherson is strong, confident, and knows who he is. I really enjoyed this character's growth! Liam Hemsworth returns as well, as Katniss' hometown love interest. I think Hemsworth did a fine job with the little material he had. Now I've never read the books, but I sure hope there's something more for him to do in the future of the series.
Woody Harrelson plays a terrific mentor to the tributes. He's still battling alcoholism, but has a fondness for Katniss and Peta that he can not deny. Elizabeth Banks returns as a fashion loving socialite that also loves the tributes, but can do little to stop the events in the film. She figuratively, and literally, adds a lot of color to the film. Lenny Kravitz and Stanley Tucci are just awesome in their respective roles despite limited screen time. And then there are the men of the Capital. Philip Seymour Hoffman plays the new 'Game Master' running the new Hunger Games. He's devious and has a plan much bigger than The Hunger Games themselves. And lastly, the amazing Donald Sutherland. His portrayal as President Snow is, well, perfect. He's a man hellbent on staying in power, at any cost. He will kill, he will burn entire cities to the ground, to ensure the people of the Districts fear the government. If Katniss Everdeen is the spark to a revolution, he will diffuse it with all the water in the Great Lakes if that's what is necessary. He's creepy, and absolutely brilliant. I love it.
Everything is Stepped up a Notch
What I didn't like about the film:
Can't Wait For Mockingjay