The Hunger Games: Catching Fire sees Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) a little on edge after winning the 74th Hunger Games alongside Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) in the first film. Not difficult to see why when she had to participate in bumping off a number of her peers from other districts.
President Snow (Donald Sutherland) is still rather peeved that she was instrumental in showing him up by revealing her trick with the ol’ poison berries and leading to their success in the arena, since if future contestants try the same tactic then it’ll, once again, make him look like a prize tit. To counter this, Snow wants the pair to go on tour, promoting the Games, and making it look like they’re madly in love as opposed to a reluctant last option on Take Me Out. If she manages it, then that’s all good. If she doesn’t, then he won’t take kindly to her defiance. And by “won’t take kindly”, I mean, he’ll wipe District 12 off the map.
Now, where do Katniss and Peeta go on their tour? Empire State Building? The Hollywood Bowl? No, all the other districts. Because that’s exactly what those residents want to see – the people who bumped off their residents.
This time round, it’s, as you’d expect, the 75th Hunger Games, and the Third Quarter Quell, a QQ being the time when they do things a little bit differently to celebrate 25 more years. The special event on display is that this year’s contestants will be made up from previous victors, regardless of their current age. And some of them are way past their best. Still, on the plus side, it means that instead of spotty, whiny teenagers, we get Jeffrey Wright (Beetee) and the delightfully wacky Amanda Plummer (Wiress).
Philip Seymour Hoffman takes over as Head Gamemaker Plutocratic Humvee… I mean, Plutarch Heavensbee. Yes, there’s hardly anyone in this saga with a sensible name. Seriously, this is one of his final roles, one for which he’d already filmed the majority of his scenes for both Mockingjay sequels.
I saw the first Hunger Games film the night before i watched Catching Fire. I don’t read books so I don’t know the outcome of any of the characters before I see it played out in the film. However, while I can see that a female heroine makes them films aimed at the female market, they’re still a reasonable way for a bloke to pass two-and-a-half hours. That said, still be aware of the fact that it takes a good hour or so, once again, before it gets to the Games in question.
Go to page 2 for more thoughts on the film and the extras.
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.