Run Time: 2 Hours and 26 minutes
Genre: Action, Drama
What is Catching Fire?
Catching Fire picks up where The Hunger Games left off, directly after the games. Katniss and Peta are under a lot of fire from President Snow after their stunt at the end of the games, and the districts see Katniss as a spark that could start a rebellion. This becomes even more apparent during the Victory Tour, when the districts begin fighting back. With a ton of tension throughout the districts and the Capital, President Snow decides to launch the Quarter Quell in the most ambitious way possible, including only former victors. Both Peeta and Katniss find themselves right back in the dangerous arena they had worked so hard to escape, this time with some friends.
Who’s in Catching Fire?
Katniss Everdeen returns though she is even less cheery than before. Suffering from PTSD from her time in the games she tries to return to her life before the hunger games with poor results. With her daily routine consisting of hunting, taking care of Haymitch, and avoiding Peeta her life is uninteresting but of course Katniss is just happy to still be alive. Peeta Mellark, is still heartbroken after learning that Katniss didn’t truly love him and so he has kept his distance from her since returning to District 12.
Following the first movie, The Hunger Games, Catching Fire does a lot right just like the movie before it. From an accurate adaptation, to great action, to fun characters, if you enjoyed the first movie or the books, you will be sure to enjoy this movie.
Negatives wise, there isn’t much that Catching Fire didn’t do right. Besides a few added scenes that really contribute much to the overall plot, everything else was pretty much what I expected from the book.
Since there aren’t too many negatives, I guess I can elaborate on the positives. First off, the movie is pretty accurate compared to the novel. The movie doesn’t try to change or alter an already good story with needless filler. Besides accuracy, I also think they paced this movie well. Considering all the parts in the book, I feel like each arc was developed well and all aspects were given enough screen time. Alongside the story, I loved seeing the new characters being brought to the big screen. From reading, Finnick and Johanna were some of my favourites and seeing them in action was entertaining. Speaking of action, the Games part of the movie was just as entertaining as the first. Although the Games itself were shorter this time around, the same amount of suspense and fear in the atmosphere was solid.
Overall, Catching Fire was a great movie. It’s able to capture the feel of the source material and was able to bring everything to the big screen. The characters and plot were great this time around, and even though the actual Games portion of the movie was shorter, the suspense was still there all the same. Definitely give this one a watch if you’re a fan of the first movie or the novels.
Favourite Moment (Spoilers):
My favourite moment in Catching Fire is the introduction of Johanna Matthews to Katniss and Peeta. I loved the way the whole scene played out just like the book. It was a good spot of humor to ease the tension of the movie. I also enjoyed seeing all the facial expressions of all the characters, because they all fit so nicely with their characters.
This is my favourite film in The Hunger Games franchise as it is in my opinion the perfect mix of District drama and the actual hunger games. This being my favourite book in the series I felt that they adapted the story as closely as possible.
The interesting thing about this story, in particular, is that the characters spend little time in the actual hunger games with most of the story taking place in the Capitol and district 12. As in the book, I find that interesting and the fact that it’s my favourite is odd because it has the least amount of action but I like the storyline of a revolution. The characters are all once again well realized with Jennifer Lawrence doing a great job as Katniss especially when it comes to showing the fear and trauma that the first games caused her. Haymitch plays a larger role as well with him coaching Katniss and Peeta when they are under scrutiny and Woody Harrelson is brilliant in the role once again. The new cast also leaves an important impact like Finnick played by Sam Claflin and Johanna played by Jena Malone who both are fellow tributes with Katniss and have a role that is important for this story. The action in the film is amazing and the arena is so much cooler than the first one with the water element setting up some cool action set pieces throughout. The climax is also quite intense and leaves you on a huge cliff-hanger. The drama in this film constantly gives the film a sense of dread especially with a couple of characters getting injured or worse which I think does a good job of keeping the audience engaged.
All in all, this is my favourite Hunger Games film and one of my favourite books to film adaptations. From engaging characters, compelling drama, and stellar drama, this film keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time. I definitely recommend it.
Favourite Moment (Spoilers):
My favourite moment in the film is when Katniss, Peeta, and Haymitch stand up in front of the Peacekeeper as it shows the influence and power that the victors truly have. Along with that the scene where President Snow and Plutarch Heavensbee are talking about that event interests me because it’s their realisation that they gave the power to the victors and specifically Snow gave them this power unintentionally which he now fears.
Catching Fire takes a lot of the aspects I loved from the first movie and took them one step further. We get an even cooler arena, some awesome action, and even more great characters. Like many trilogies, Catching Fire is the best of the three. I really enjoyed the way that each character has their own individual fighting style with different weapons. It created a much deeper set of characters, with the tributes being previous victors, and it was a lot of fun to have characters to love and hate. They are written so well, and the movie just continues to push the barriers of who each character really is. This proves to be even more true with Katniss and Peeta, and I was really happy to see their characters continue to grow after The Hunger Games.
Suzanne Collins does a wonderful job of setting up a great novel, and the filmmakers have turned that into an equally good movie. The plot comes across wonderfully, and although it does take a few liberties, the changes add to the movie instead of taking away. Certain things are difficult to translate from a book to a movie, and I think those sentiments come across really well. The action flows with the plot a lot better than the first movie, and I feel it brings a lot more to the plot instead of just pointless violence. The plot has a lot more meaning behind it, making for a much more compelling movie.
Catching Fire brings a lot more to the table, from deeper characters to a fantastic plot, and it’s a really enjoyable movie. The violence is more sensical, and it fits the tone of the movie a little bit more than The Hunger Games. Overall this is a pretty darn good movie, still not better than the book, but really solid.
Favourite Moment (Spoilers):
My favourite moment has to be the escape via lightning strike. The setup to the escape is perfectly executed, and the actual escape is filled with such intensity. You are never quite sure what is coming next, and it leaves you on the edge of your seat. Definitely the highlight of Catching Fire.