Monday, December 9, 2013

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Movie Name: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Year of Release: 2013
Director: Francis Lawrence
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jena Malone, Jeffrey Wright, Amanda Plummer, Sam Claflin, Lynn Cohen, Toby Jones, Patrick St. Esprit, Willow Shields
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7

The sequel to the highly successful "Hunger Games" is back, this time directed by the competent Francis Lawrence. The film picks up after the events of the first one: Katniss Everdeen has returned to her district after winning the games, and in the process she, alongside Peeta, have become symbols for all the people being oppressed by the regime led by President Snow. In order to silence these insurgencies that are starting to pop up, celebratory games are devised, where the participants are selected from all the winners from previous games. Katniss and Peeta once again get dragged to this mortal game, where they have to forge alliances to keep themselves alive, in what is a different game setting for all of them.
Francis Lawrence is a director who has tackled both comic book characters (in his debut "Constantine") and big literary successes (both "I Am Legend" and "Water for Elephants"). In tackling "Hunger Games: Catching Fire", Francis Lawrence decided to pick up what Gary Ross had done with the first film, and expand the canvas. He has benefited from a bigger budget, which definitely gives the film a more polished and sophisticated look. Where the film clearly moves forward is in the production values that it showcases - from the special effects, through production design and even costume design. The screenplay in itself is a progression when compared to the previous film - it's cleverly constructed and allows the characters to have further depth, as opposed to being scared and frantic. The film has a fantastic cast, and they make the action believable and entertaining. A good entertainment, worth watching.