Friday, November 22 2013, 10:59 AM MST
Movie Review: The Hunger Games - Catching Fire
4 out of 5 Stars
Director: Francis Lawrence
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Recommended To: Fans of the novel and first film as well as skeptics that weren’t completely sold on the franchise.
Synopsis: Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) embark on their victory tour of the twelve districts only to find themselves thrust back into the life or death arena of Hunger Games.
Review: I liked The Hunger Games. It felt like a good starting point, but it felt clunky and weighted down by its exposition. Catching Fire is able to simply jump into the action and as a result the film has better pacing, doesn’t feel as obligated to show off the scenery or explain the rules. Director Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend, Constantine), who replaces Gary Ross, does a fine job of keeping the plot constantly moving forward. Even when the paces slows to allow for character introspection, romance or just to give the audience a chance to breathe the film never feels self-indulgent despite its 146-minute running time. The cast is impeccable, the costume, makeup and art design is fabulous and the cinematography is more restrained allowing the audience to fall deeper into the story. When it was over I was left wanting more. If The Hunger Games didn’t win you over there’s a very good chance that Catching Fire will.
-Ryan Michael Painter