Like many middle films of a series, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire lacks any real resolution. Nevertheless, it is a very entertaining film.
Following their triumph at the Hunger Games tournament, Katniss and Peeta must keep up the pretence of their relationship to protect their families. When their public appearances spark trouble in the districts, the Capitol is determined to take revenge…
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire features a good mix of action, drama and tension. With the way that the plot unfolds, the film could have become a rehash of its predecessor. Thankfully Catching Fire eschews this, offering a fresh take on proceedings.
The set up of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire works well. The film replicates the tension of the first film. However, it also delivers a progression of the narrative. In some ways, it does feel very much like a middle film. Plans are dropped in place that will no doubt materialise in the next instalment. The events in the film are of course important to the overall narrative arc, but Catching Fire lacks the driving force to make it feel like a stand-alone movie. The ending is a little abrupt; it is very much a cliff-hanger to ensure viewers are eager to return for the next part.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire continues from the first film in depicting a highly-stylised dystopian world. Like most decent films of this ilk, the dystopia in Catching Fire is not too far removed from the real world as to be unrecognisable. Costumes in the film are excellent, and special effects are also good.
Jennifer Lawrence delivers a strong performance as Katniss. Stanley Tucci is a lot of fun, while Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks reprise their roles with a good energy.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is a decent follow up to The Hunger Games. The next two instalments should over the resolution that this film lacks.