Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson in “Catching Fire”
Officially the biggest Blockbuster to have been released during the month of November, Hungers Games: Catching Fire is certainly something to talk about. The Young Adult sequel features a Great Body of Talent Ranging from newly minted Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence to veteran actors like Donald Sutherland and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Newcomers Jena Malone and Sam Claflin join forces with Katniss (Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) as they take on the third quarter quell of the Hunger Games; a different type of game that pairs winners of previous Hunger games with one another for an all out brawl and fight for survival that would make even Charles Darwin speechless. However, Catching Fire is not really any different from any other Young Adult film, its finale is broken up into two parts just to ensure that any future box office records will be broken by it.
Ever since Katniss has won the Hunger Games things have not been the same in the twelve Dystopian Districts. People find hope in Katniss as their revolutionary leader; their “MockingJay”. As the climate changes in the colonies and each one becomes a police state with a commander stationed in every one. District twelve however, is given what appears to be the meanest and nastiest of them all In Commander Thread (Patrick St. Espirit) as he has little tolerance for people and their ever growing list of problems. These Commanders and their soldiers come in white protective armor that looks like a cheapened version of the mechanic police seen in last years Total Recall remake.
Lets not forget that another reaping ceremony is about to happen to these over worked people and it’s a scene that is completely unnecessary. Fans of the books and anyone with a sense of storytelling knows that Katniss and Peeta must once again work together to get through the hell that is the Hunger Games. On order of President Snow (Donald Sutherland), the couple must first sell that to the people of the twelve districts that the clearly broken system still actually works and that good things will become of the unnecessary killings in the Games; Capitol dirty work at its finest.
Once the couple reaches the Capitol and another ultimatum later they must choose whom they want to form alliances with in order to survive from other experienced players. This proves to be challenging as the axe-wielding Johanna Mason (Malone), a prude on the edge. Alongside Finnick Odair, an overzealous winner of years past and is way to confident in his abilities, make things challenging for Katniss and Peeta.
Catching Fire is an absolute blast that is enjoyable from beginning to end; the problem is that the film lacks a third and final act. Clearly director Francis Lawrence has intended this as it’s meant to be a lead in for part one of the third and hopefully big finale. Acting is stellar as it should be from such high caliber talent that is in the film and any new additions to the “Hunger Family”. Amanda Plummer and Jeffrey Wright seem to serve no real purpose to overall plot and it seems to not only affect Catching Fire, but also other films in recent years like it. Maybe some new union rule has recently come into affect, but whatever the reason is for this, quite frankly is a waste of good talent.