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Movie Review: ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Horribly Slow Start and Bad End

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Rating:
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Star
Star
Star
Star

“Fear does not work as long as they have hope.”– Donald Sutherland as President Snow

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What’s good: The entire cast delivers great performances.

What’s not good: It takes way too long to get to the action and the ending is horrible.

What happened: Corrupt companies and governments always resort to fear to control the masses. They believe that breaking people any way possible will ensure their power over them. Thankfully, no matter how much they try to, rebels always find a way to rise up and take down the system. ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ provides an interesting perspective to this real world problem.

Katniss Everdeen’s (Jennifer Lawrence) life hasn’t been that great after winning The Hunger Games last year. Visions of her violent past continue to haunt her daily. Also, her relationship with her boyfriend Gael (Liam Hemsworth) is on shaky ground thanks to the lie she created with Peeta (Josh Hutcherson). Meanwhile, life in each of the poverty stricken districts is worsening by the day. Katniss and Peta thought that winning the Hunger Games would ensure their freedom, but the government had another plan for them.

The evil President Snow (Donald Sutherland) is determined to maintain his power over the districts by crushing any possible chance of hope. Snow sees Katniss as a threat to national security and concocts a plan that puts her life back in jeopardy. Katniss and Peeta must once again find a way to survive in a fight to the death scenario in the latest edition of The Hunger Games.

‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ was a highly anticipated sequel that certainly offered up quite a few surprises. The special effects of the various traps on the island were very well done. One of the coolest moments was when Katniss and Peta ran for their lives against poisonous fog. The entire cast delivers incredible performances too. Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson are, once again, amazing throughout. You will empathize with their characters as they try to make the best of a bad situation. Liam Hemsworth and Donald Sutherland also deserve a special nod for their small yet powerful roles in this film.

The biggest problem with ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ is that it takes entirely too long to get to any action. The first half of the movie explores how everyone has been affected since the events of the first film. This is all well and good, but certainly could have been summed up in about fifteen to twenty minutes tops. As intriguing as the political aspect of this film may be, most fans really want to see the tributes fight to the death. It is clear that more time should have been spent on advancing the story forward so we can see the intense action that made the original so good. The other issue with this movie is its conclusion. The ending will be so upsetting to audiences that they will not want to see the next one. Let’s hope these issues are resolved in the final two films of the franchise.

Bottom Line: ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ is not as good as the original, but certainly worth checking out.

Grade: B

Rating: PG-13 Run time: 2 hours, 26 minutes

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