The games are NEVER in your favor!
MovieAddict - wrote on 12/01/13
Fans of the Hunger Games were disappointed with the first movie and rightfully so. The film was pretty good, but didn't do the book justice. With a new director for the second book, they did not make the same mistake twice. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is a very loyal adaptation of the novel.
The story picks up from the first film, where Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) return to their homes in oppressive District s of Panam. Katniss's unprecedented act of near-suicide during the last Hunger Games had been seen by several citizens as an act of defiance against the government. Naturally, President Snow (Donald Sutherland) is not happy with the situation and hatches a plan to kill Katniss before she causes more unrest all over his domain. He organizes a special event called the Quarter Quell where only previous victors from each district will compete, in the hope of making Katniss out to be a murderer and so kill her popularity. Snow threatens to kill her family, if she does not comply.
As full scale war looms without, within the new games area, Katniss and Peeta make allies with other enforced former champs the arrogant Finnick (Sam Claflin), fierce Johanna (Jena Malone), Mags, Beetee (Jeffrey Wright) and Wiress (Amanda Plummer) to form a team against the rest and against the myriad dangers sent against them by Plutarch, the new Head Gamemaker, which includes acid mist, killer baboons, lightning, tidal waves and rivers of blood. Everything just feels more ruthless and cutthroat. One scene involving escape from poisonous fog which causes nasty blisters is particularly heart-pounding.
Donald Sutherland does a magnificent job as the president. He is every bit the brilliant, sinister, psychopath the book demands. When Snow is on screen you know trouble is afoot. Phillip Seymour Hoffman has the requisite sneakiness as new Head Gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee. Liam Hemsworth is used a little more here and Woody Harrelson as Haymitch is still the wise cracking drunk, but has become more generous and caring.
An intense and emotional movie that can keep you on the edge of your seat for the whole movie! And that moment when Katniss spins in her wedding dress suddenly setting it on fire while turning into a Mocking-jay, epic!