Review: Katniss is Back and Better Than Ever in Catching Fire

Catching Fire, the highly anticipated sequel to The Hunger Games, is out this Friday and we have the details that you have been—wait for it—hungry for (I’m so sorry).

In case you are unfamiliar with the franchise, Catching Fire follows the story of Katniss Everdeen (played by Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) as they struggle to return to their lives in the bleak District 12 after winning the 74th Hunger Games. Along the way we also meet the residents of some other Districts, including fan favourites Finnick Odair and Joanna Mason, and Evan favourite Beetee.

In some ways, this movie was better than the original source material (an outstanding achievement for a book adaptation). The actors really made it for me—in the book the characters could be one dimensional, but the acting in this movie was just astounding. Donald Sutherland’s portrayal of President Snow gave me chills and reminded me that I have to get my eyebrows done. Stanley Tucci, who plays Cesar Flickerman, enriches every movie he is in. I also really loved Haymitch Abernathy, played by Woody Harrelson, who is the only one who calls Katniss on her sometimes ridiculous and stubborn behaviour. This film also brings it in the eye candy department; Liam Hemsworth (as Katniss’ childhood friend/boyfriend Gale), Josh Hutcherson, Lenny Kravitz, and (strangely) Phillip Seymour Hoffman all had me muttering “Hot damn!” to myself.

The real draw of this movie, though, is of course Jennifer Lawrence. She is one of the most captivating actors I have ever seen. I don’t think my body unclenched for the entire movie, so taken was I with her portrayal of Katniss. Katniss Everdeen always has her heart on her sleeve and Lawrence captures that perfectly. Katniss is barely in control of her emotions/snide remarks and JLaw takes the audience along on the emotional rollercoaster with her.

So what didn’t I like? Very little, actually. Most of my concerns are things from the books left out by the filmmakers. For example, in the novels Katniss narrates, which gives much of the background information about the dystopian Panem. I still think that the films could benefit from this; I watched the first film with a person who had not read the books and I was answering questions all night. I think Catching Fire is easier to follow, but there were still some things which were only evident to me because I had read the books.

Grab a friend and line up early to see The Hunger Games: Catching Fire this weekend (and please be kind to the lovely movie theatre employees like moi who are helping you – we know the popcorn is expensive, and we feel your pain).

4 Effie Trinket butterfly dresses out of 5.

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