Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
Directed by Francis Lawrence
There are no winners of the Hunger Games, just survivors. That is how Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence) sees the outcome as she and Peeta Mellark (Hutcherson) are about to embark on their victory tour for winning the 74th Hunger Games. Katniss is a threat to the Capitol after defying them in the last Games. She sparked a revolution and the districts see the new victor as a sign of hope; that the Capitol can be overthrown. President Snow threatens Katniss to bring peace to Panem, but it’s a lost cause. He can’t have her killed openly, so the best way to get rid of hope? Put the girl on fire back in the Games.
The best word to describe “Catching Fire” is intense. Just because Katniss and Peeta are the new victors doesn’t mean they are safe. The film shows their struggles with living life after a traumatic event. They have nightmares and flashbacks to what they went through. When President Snow announces that past victors will have to compete, it sends Katniss over the edge.
There isn’t one moment in the movie that feels unreal. The actors do an amazing job convincing the audience of the emotions they’re going through and the difficulties of life after surviving the last Games. The CGI isn’t overdone and the shots of the environment is realistic. District 12 could be a real place. The arena in which the contestants are in are brought to life as in the books. They find themselves in the middle of a dome. The cornucopia which has the items they need to survive is placed on a rocky island in the middle of water. The beach surrounds them in a circle and a tropical rainforest beyond is not a safe haven.
The intensity of “Catching Fire” is broken up by small humorous moments. One moment the audience is holding their breath and the next they let it out in a laugh because someone unintentionally did or said something funny. These moments of comic relief lighten the film in a good way because too much drama may lead to a breakdown of tears from the audience.
The film builds up the tension between Katniss and President Snow. She knows disappointing Snow will only lead to the harm of the people she cares most about. It’s with the help of her mentors, Haymitch and Effie, that she prepares for what could be the last Games in her life. No one is safe in “Catching Fire” and the odds are definitely not in their favor.