Review: Catching Fire (THG Movies #2)

Review: Catching Fire (THG Movies #2)Catching Fire * by Francis Lawrence
Series: The Hunger Games movies #2
Also in this series: The Hunger Games *, Mockingjay Pt 1 *, Mockingjay Pt 2 *
Released by Lionsgate on 20 November 2013
Genres: Dystopia
Length: 2h 26m
Source: Seen in cinema

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Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark become targets of the Capitol after their victory in the 74th Hunger Games sparks a rebellion in the Districts of Panem.

I had been waiting for this movie ever since the first movie came out, although I was a big skeptic about it, because there was one huge flaw in the first movie: the shaky camera effect. It made some parts of the movie unwatchable in my opinion and it just gave me a headache. But then, it was announced that Gary Ross, the director of the Hunger Games, was not doing Catching Fire (or Mockingjay). Francis Lawrence (not related to Jennifer) was announced as his replacement, but that didn’t make me feel any beter, because I had never seen a movie directed by him so I didn’t know what he was like.

But then the movie had been made, and the stills, trailers and clips were released. I got really excited after the first proper trailer, and even more when the other trailers were released. I tried to avoid most of the clips that were released, because I just don’t want to see half of the movie before I even see the movie (if you get what I mean). I have to warn you, because from this point, I might give some spoilers for the movie. So if you haven’t seen the movie, and if you don’t want any spoilers, do not continue reading after this sentence! (Of course, if you don’t care about spoilers at all, do continue).

Again, if you don’t want to get spoiled, stop reading NOW! Let me start by telling you that this movie was so true to the book, it made me so happy. I am going to review this movie in the same way I did ‘You Have Seven Messages’ because otherwise I’d make a huge mess of it.

The Characters – We meet quite some new characters in this movie. First there are the families of the fallen tributes, not that we actually see all of them, but of course there’s Rue’s family. Her mum (I thought, but IMDB said it was her aunt), her siblings. Seeing them just made me sob already, but hearing what Katniss told them made me sob even harder. Then there’s Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman), whose name is pronounced differently from what I thought it was (I don’t even remember how I pronounced it, haha). And of course there are the twenty-two new tributes. Cashmere (Stephanie Leigh Schlund) and Gloss (Alan Ritchson), Brutus (Bruno Gunn) and Enobaria (Meta Golding), Beetee (Jeffrey Wright) and Wiress (Amanda Plummer), Finnick (Sam Claflin) and Mags (Lynn Cohen), Johanna (Jena Malone), Chaff (E. Roger Mitchell) and Seeder (Maria Howell); and all the others, who we didn’t really see much of in the movie (except for the female Morphling who gave her life to safe Peeta’s of course).

Some characters I hadn’t expected, like Annie Cresta (played by Stef Dawson, who was announced for Mockingjay, but it wasn’t said that she’d be in Catching Fire as well, even though it was just a tiny part during the reaping), and Snow’s granddaughter (who had her hair braided just like Katniss’s, haha). And speaking of Katniss and hair, her prep team had a bigger role in this movie as well. They actually had some lines, and that made me happy, although for some reason Venia (the one with the golden tattoo’s around her eyes) was missing.

The Romance – Of course, there’s some romance in this movie, mostly between Katniss and Peeta; or Katniss and Gale. I honestly hate how the media actually pretends like the whole story revolves around the love triangle, but really it’s about kids killing kids, come on. I was happy with the romance though, because I actually really like Peeta and Katniss together (not just because of their shipname (It’s Peeniss)). I’ve never been much of a fan of Gale and Katniss together, and even though I thought their moments in the movie were cute, I still don’t ship it.

The Action – Lots and lots of action, yes. It starts with the start of the uprising in the districts, and the (new) Peacekeepers trying to make it stop, by shooting people and that kind of stuff. Then there was the Hob that was burned down to the ground, and of course the games. I just really loved all the action in the games, and though I had already read about everything, it was just beautiful to see it all on screen and it was exactly how I imagined it!

The Tears – There were tears, of course. I was still a bit sad from the hunger Games (which we’d seen right before Catching Fire, because we’d chosen the marathon), and then there were more tears during CF. When we saw Rue’s family, during the reaping, during the interviews, Cinna, Mags, even seeing the morphling die made me cry; and of course the jabberjays, seeing Katniss and Finnick react to that. Ugh, next time I’m bringing tissues.

The Special Effects – New training centre, new living quarters, the arena, there were a lot of special effects – and I loved all of them. My favourite was the training centre, and especially the part where Katniss went to show off her archery skills. These featureless people made out of tiny yellow blocks were everywhere and Katniss managed to shoot all of them. After that, the group of tributes were all watching her, and Wiress was clapping which made me laugh.

Of course there were some differences with the book (like Plutarch not showing his watch to Katniss, and the whole part with Bonnie and Twill not being there), but I did not mind those AT ALL. I just absolutely loved this movie to bits, and I really want to see it again, but then in IMAX.