Catching Fire – Film Review

Posted: November 27, 2013 in Entertainment, Movies, Reviews

Three thumbs up for the movie release of The Hunger Games, Catching Fire.  I was very impressed with the script writing.  While the novel was more indirect in presenting certain things, the movie is very clear and direct in showing the motives of President Snow (who plays a much bigger role in this film) and the consequences of rebellion.  The rebellion scenes are powerful and moving, well designed to make the viewer angry at the governing powers.  While the first movie pussyfooted around this theme, the second movie addresses it squarely and blatantly.  There are many scenes where you can see Snow slowly develop contempt for Katniss as a threat to his power.  It is no wonder that Donald Sutherland (President Snow) commented that it is a powerful statement about freedom and rebellion.  It’s not a kid’s movie.

The script also tweaked the story (in a good way) to make the conspiracy surrounding Katniss more obvious to the viewer, even though Katniss herself remains naive and the last one to figure it out.  Even in the arena game itself, which only takes up the final third of the film, we’re constantly given hints and clues that there is more going on than meets the eye.  Katniss, the unwilling symbol of the rebellion, slowly comes to understand the horror surrounding her but still remains mostly naive to it all until a masterful last few seconds of the film.  The irony makes the story even better.  The inner journey she undergoes is shared with the audience, better than it was even in the book.

The acting and special effects in the film are both first rate.  The actual arena game plays an important but secondary role in the film, which is mostly about freedom, rebellion and standing up for what you believe in.

There seem, these days, to be quite a few novels and films for young people which hold those values.  “Divergent” is being released soon.  Even “Ender’s Game” is a politically relevant book, although there would be debate as to what the message actually is.  What I’d love to see is one of Cory Doctorow’s novels, such as Little Brother or Pirate Cinema turned into a movie.

I would give The Hunger Games, Catching Fire a solid A.

  1. CMrok93 says:

    Not as good as the first, but still a worthy addition to a franchise that seems like it’s on the brink of breaking some mighty fine box-office records. Good review.

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