Clearly the Capitol can’t stand for a happy ending. The second cinematic installment of the bestselling book trilogy has our favourite protagonist, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), set out on her victory lap of post-apocalyptic America, only to incite a rebellion and be cast in an all-star edition of the Hunger Games alongside her beau Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) and many others. There’s all the shots of repressed citizens, scary spaceships and creepy anonymous soldiers that we saw in the last film, as well as some new bits, like force fields. We see a little more of elderly dictator ‘President’ Snow (Donald Sutherland), and meet lots of new characters. And then there are the glitzy costumes, designed by Cinna (Lenny Kravitz), and the lavish parties, with the Capitol’s citizens all looking like the Whos from How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
In the previous film, Lawrence somehow managed to alienate the audience by seeming completely despicable and self-centred. However, she has improved: the Katniss of Catching Fire genuinely seems to care about other people. And one thing can be said for the franchise: you genuinely get to know and care about the characters. There was practically a cheer in the cinema as Elizabeth Banks, playing devil-you-know Effie Trinket, flounced onto the screen wearing a powder-blue wig, and the audience was equally pleased to see Woody Harrelson, as pitiable alcoholic Haymitch Abernathy, in a stupor upon his kitchen table. And that’s before you see Katniss’ two conflicting love interests (who both have come off rather the worse for their girl), Peeta (Hutcherson) and Gale (Liam Hemsworth).
Catching Fire is genuinely impressive. There’s a couple of lapses into unconvincing montages, and it’s hard to believe that Peeta still cares for Katniss after all she’s thrown at him, but it pulls through, and it received applause as the credits rolled.
The event the world has been waiting for has finally arrived. The Hunger Games came back with a bang, with this adrenaline-filled second installment. Katniss Everdeen, who was remarkably played by the talented Jennifer Lawrence, has returned to our screens as a brave, intelligent, defiant heroin. This film is filled with unexpected plot twists, incredible emotions and frightening secrets, as Katniss discovers the world as a victor, finding that all may not be as she once thought.
The director has truly outdone himself on this one, and the acting is certainly exquisite. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is the must see movie of 2013.