My rating: 9/10
For many years, teenage fiction film adaptions were always judged on another scale.
A different scale from the usual movies, one that is arguably more lenient and taken less seriously.
With past examples like Twilight and Percy Jackson, the first Hunger Games movie created a good impression, increased book sales, brought in some money…
But this one, Catching Fire, is where the real revolution begins.
This film just straight up leapt the franchise onto a whole new level.
The last time this happened, I remember it was Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, where the first Batman Begins was pretty good, but the second just reached such a new height that it impressed everyone, including those who initially were doubtful about it.
A clarification, I’ve read part of the first book, didn’t finish it due to time issues, so I went into this movie with the minimum expectation of the first movie. It’s one of the things I like doing, it allows me to judge a movie as a movie itself, without prior prejudice and expectations because of the book.
One of the first thing I have to praise, is the pacing of this movie.
This movie is just so engaging that I didn’t realise how much time went past by the time this movie ended.
I remember a secondary school teacher told me once before, that a good movie, is supposed to make you not think about anything else, but the movie itself, while you’re watching it. It’s like marrying yourself to the movie for that short moment of time, fully getting inside the world.
And this movie did exactly that, I was into this movie the whole entire time I’m watching it.
It’s a roller coaster ride of events, and a real exciting one.
Another thing is the characters. One of the minor problem I had with the previous Hunger Games movie was that, I didn’t care much for the characters, only a few like Rue and Katniss, but the rest of them you don’t feel that attached to.
However in this one, some of the character’s death just outright breaks your heart, and even if it didn’t, you wish they didn’t die.
They portrayed these character in a way that you start feeling empathy for them, you start to like them, get attached to them, and so losing them became a big deal.
Many had praised Jena Malone’s performance, and I must say, she is amazing, she killed it in every scene, I really want to see more of her, I can’t get enough of her.
I want her to become the next big thing in Hollywood so I can see more of her performance, I think The Hunger Games franchise has the potential to help many uprising stars to become Hollywood’s next big star, like what it did for Jennifer Lawrence.
Talking about characters, in this one, the chemistry between the casts is greatly improved.
You could really feel Katniss and Peeta being stuck in this awkward position where things were supposed to be an act, but it hurts Peeta, and Katniss doesn’t know how to handle it.
In the last one I barely felt anything when Katniss kissed Peeta, but for this one, I actually could feel the tension between them, and I could see the feelings growing between them.
You see the growth in Effie’s character, you see the interaction between President Snow and his granddaughter, which are all really really well established, even though it’s just a few sentences, or a look on their faces.
One thing I’m very grateful about is that they no longer used the same amount of shaky-cam, I’m really not a fan of the misuse of shaky-cam, and I can’t be more grateful for this movie to be more stable than the previous one.
I’m not sure is it just me, or the lack of shaky-cam actually made this movie feel a lot more cinematic, it feels more big-scale, and I guess when you have enough money for a movie, you don’t have to hide things with shaky-cam.
The world of Panem becomes a little more familiar to us in this one.
In the previous one, we just know one or two things about it, but in this one, we get a little more details to the different districts, mainly thanks to the more significant existence of the tributes this time.
The director, Francis Lawrence, I’ve never watched any other movie of his, I just know he directed I Am Legend, and he started off as a music video director before stepping into film.
I have a feeling that this franchise is going to help his career, he’s definitely going to be one of the names people will start looking out for, at least I will have some faith in him when I see his name on a movie poster.
This movie proves that he can take on blockbuster movie and present a masterpiece in a short amount of time.
I am really excited for the next one, I think I’m definitely gonna pick up the books again and finish it.
I want to dive deeper into the world of Panem, I want to find out more about each of the characters, I wish Suzanne Collins continue the franchise and write more spin-off books. Maybe about the first Hunger Games ever, or just the history of the first rebellion.
Of course we don’t know will that ever happen, but that definitely shows that this franchise is getting successful.