We've come into a sort of Young Adult novel bloom recently. You have the Mortal Instruments, the Divergent trilogy, Vampire Academy, and of course the King (Or should that be Queen) of the hill The Hunger Games.
Whether you like the books or are among the faction of people who believe Suzanne Collins ripped off Battle Royale, which borrowed heavily from Lord of the Flies, they are one of the biggest draws in book sales and merchandise.
I for one happen to be a fan of the books and thoroughly enjoyed the first film. So I was excited to see the second in what is planned to be a series of four movies. And while it does have a tad bit of repetitious sequences it is still a pretty solid adaptation.
Basically Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark become the enemies of the Capitol after their victory in the 74th Hunger Games. Their victory causes the beginning of an uprising and as we all know evil Dictatorship's can't have that.
Like I said there is some similar elements from the first movie. Another sequence of training, the chariot ride through the streets of the Capitol, you get my drift. But there are quite a few new things thrown in. Past winners who have been thrust into a new game, undercurrents of rebellion, and a twist that will be quite surprising to those who have not read the books.
Jennifer Lawrence gives a good performance, but this time Katniss seems a bit prone to fits of hysteria. Woody Harrelson is quite adept at making Haymitch more than a one-dimensional alcoholic with a troubled past. And you have to love Donald Sutherland sleazing it up as President Snow.
The story is well-paced and rarely suffers from having nothing to do. There is a little of the been there done that feeling to the movie. It's hard to shake the trappings of the first film and give the movie a unique voice. It is nice though that where in the actual book it was only from Katniss' perspective you get to see more of the goings on behind the scenes of the Games.
I did enjoy this movie, just not as much as the first. I felt like it was a bit slower paced though both film's have almost the same run time. But it is not a movie you should pass up if you've seen the first film. I do think that people should judge for themselves if they think their child can handle and understand this story. It's a tad bit complicated and I think that the film's target audience is a little older than some of the children who have probably seen it.
All in all an enjoyable if a bit repetitive movie. Four Stars.
And may the odds be ever in your favor.