The Hunger Games: Catching Fire ~ A Capsule Movie Review by Allen Kopp
The Hunger Games is a series of books and now a movie franchise. The second movie in the franchise, just out, is The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. It stars Jennifer Lawrence as an extraordinarily resourceful girl named Katniss Everdeen, who has acquired fame and fortune as the victor in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, along with her partner, Peeta Mellark (played by Josh Hutcherson). Katniss and Peeta believe that, as victors, they can live the rest of their lives in peace until they discover that every twenty-five years the participants in that year’s Hunger Games will be drawn from previous victors. So, guess what? Katniss and Peeta will have to participate in the 75th Annual Hunger Games, whether they want to or not.
For those who don’t already know, The Hunger Games is set in a future dystopian society (a country called Panem) where life is not easy. The Hunger Games is a sort of public relations gambit to instill a sense of national pride in people and to take their minds off how terrible their lives are. Since Katniss sees things as they really are and sees through the veil of lies, she is viewed by the political ruling class as a possible danger, as someone who might lead a revolution against them. They believe it is in their best interests to kill her.
Meanwhile, Katniss and Peeta are forced to pretend to be in love to make things more interesting for the masses. While they like each other, there doesn’t seem to be much romance between them. (Or is there?) She has a boyfriend on the sidelines, the handsome Gale Hawthorne (played by Liam Hemsworth), with whom she wants to run away, but they both know it’s no use. If they don’t do what’s expected of them, their families will probably be killed.
The games themselves are held in a huge fake jungle, every aspect of which is controlled by people the participants don’t see. Using their skill, cunning, and physical prowess, the twenty participants must kill each other any way they can. Every time one of them dies, a cannon is fired. When the participants hear the cannon, they know how many are left that must be killed. All kinds of dangers are put in their way (a different one every hour) such as lightning, killer baboons, and floods. As they survive or die, they are being watched by millions of people on television.
If you saw the first movie in the franchise, you will know what to expect from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The two movies are much the same. You know from the way the second one ends (no surprise here) that there will be a third. Will Katniss lead a revolution against the evil government? Will she be a sort of Joan of Arc? Will she decide she is really in love with Peeta instead of Gale? Who will live and who will die? If the third movie isn’t any different from the first two, will we even care?
Copyright © 2013 by Allen Kopp