The stunning Jennifer Lawrence is on fire…

Last year (2012) saw Suzanne Collins’ first novel in her now famed The Hunger Games, trilogy get the Hollywood treatment in a great start to a planned four film franchise. (As with Mr Potter’s last, Miss Bella Swan’s, and, undoubtedly every other trilogy=quadrilogy=$ilogy, for many years to come, yet Peter Jackson stands alone in this. Thank you, PJ!). I didn’t really get into the first Hunger Games, until I watched it for a second time with my 14-year-old daughter, Sam, relaxing at home, then I really took to the film. Perhaps it was her enjoyment that rubbed off on me?

Do you think Katniss can take on the Twilight stars? Watch this fun short video by clicking here!

Being an avid reader of just about anything, I hired Collins’ novels in audiobook format (no, I’m not ashamed to admit it) and was instantly engrossed and saw the potential for an adaptation that was not only clever, but didn’t hold to the norm. A multilayered story that makes you think. Collins’ books, to the writer’s credit, thinks well outside the box as far as love/action stories go, with no real winners to be found when all the dust settles. In fact, I’m keen on seeing just how the final film plays out in the final chapter of said franchise and if they manage to capture just how evil Donald Sutherland’s President Snow, really is.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Directed by
Francis Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
Release Date
22 November 2013
Nav’s Grade: A

Francis Lawrence is a director whose work I’ve enjoyed in the past with Constantine and I Am Legend, two very fine movies that have given me hours of entertainment, so I knew we were in safe hands. Lawrence is also signed on for the next two in the franchise, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay 1+2, which pleased me more than a little, because, lets face it; if he can get a turn out of Keanu Reeves, he’s already proven his worth.

Snow wasn’t happy over the outcome of the 74th Hunger Games, so decides to coerce (to put it mildly) Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence), District 12’s new champ, into playing in the up and coming 75th Quarter Quell. There is revolt in the other districts which are being blamed directly on Katniss and Peeta (Hutcherson), and Snow plans to ensure the District 12 winners’ death ends the unrest and helps massage his bruised ego. To celebrate the Quarter Quell, Snow has ordered that the draw will be made from previous champions of the games, in hope that it will, not only provide a much-needed distraction, but kill off the troublesome pair in the process.

The CG used to show the city is spectacular and with $140 million spent on the movie you can see where it has all gone. The script is great; the cinematography by Jo Willems (Hard Candy, Limitless) is also commendable, but the direction from Francis Lawrence, really came through when lots of action was called for. I really felt involved in the fighting and danger the participants were in, which is pretty much how I felt throughout The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

I was never a fan of Josh Hutcherson’s Peeta and really felt they had the casting out by a mile on that score. Liam Hemsworth should’ve been Peeta Mellark, and Josh, Gale Hawthorne. The only chemistry I saw was between Lawrence and Hemsworth, but never with she and Hutcherson and it’s not because she looks like a giant next to him. Even so, the Peeta character grew on me, but for those of you who’ve read the books, you’ll understand my apprehension on Hutcherson being Peeta and not Hemsworth.

Another thing I wondered over was why in a place supposedly rife with hunger, do they all look rather well fed, and I’m not just speaking of the lower numbered districts? We seen Katniss weak with hunger outside the Mellarks’ home but she looked as curvaceous as ever to me. In fact, I didn’t see a genuinely hungry-looking person in any district.

Anywho, we finally have a followup that betters its first in almost every way, with some well-coordinated action; excellent CG; gripping story and Jennifer Lawrence in a skin-tight suit.

by Nav Qateel