#REVIEW: “THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE”
Easily this Fall’s most awaited Movie Event, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has Director Francis Lawrence (Water for Elephants, I Am Legend) taking the reins this time around from Gary Ross, committing also to the remaining instalments of the Franchise. This latest Chapter certainly doesn’t disappoint. If anything it builds further upon its 2012 Box Office record-breaking Predecessor with an array of fascinating new Characters. We witness the emotional torment of our favourite Heroine Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and the strengthening f0r-show/not-for-show bond between her and fellow District 12 Hunger Games Victor, Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson). As the Duo celebrate their success amidst great famine and poverty on their Victory Tour, they once again are called upon to compete in a battle for their lives in the onset of a Rebellion against the Capitol. Begrudgingly, they step-up to the challenge, forced to wear their brave faces for the always-recording cameras.
President Snow (Donald Sutherland) enlists the help of Game Creator Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) to see to it that Katniss once and for all is eliminated, surely not allowing her an easy way out. This time around, Peeta and Katniss are pitted against previous Hunger Games Winners – a rather eclectic group. Forced to form alliances with some of them in the name of survival, we are introduced among others to the handsome Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin), the outspoken Johanna Mason (Jena Malone) and the technologically-savvy Couple Beetee & Wiress (Jeffrey Wright and Amanda Plummer). Peeta and Katniss must fight not only for their own lives and what is right, but also their own District which comes under siege.
The stakes are upped and the plot thickens further in the unmissable Catching Fire, heightened by thrilling escapes and chases, proving that in this day and age a Blockbuster can thrive without the excess of a 3D-Finish, reliant simply on the strength of a Story and compelling performances. Also, it doesn’t hurt that recent H&M Collaborator Trish Summerville (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) continuously delights us sartorially with her Oscar-worthy Creations here.
Speaking of Oscar Winners, Lawrence digs deep, examining Katniss’ troubled psyche and the repercussions of survival. Despite being a surprising casting choice, Malone absolutely commands at every turn as the deliciously-fierce Johanna. Claflin is by all means a welcome addition to the Franchise too, irresistible despite it taking a while for us to figure him out. Hutcherson absolutely belongs here as the Franchise’s Leading Man – strong, compassionate and lovelorn. Simon Beaufoy and Michael Arndt do a phenomenal job transforming Suzanne Collins’ Brainchildren into fascinating, multi-dimensional Characters for the Big Screen. The Film delivers on every level as a Moviegoing experience worthy of the long queues and admission price.
eOne Films releases The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on Friday, November 22, 2013.
Don’t forget to check-out our Chat with Catching Fire Stars Jena Malone & Sam Claflin, plus also learn how you can win some signed items here!