Young Adult novels.
They exist and I know some of you think that this is a sudden craze in the movies nowadays, although wasn’t Harry Potter the start of this and then followed by Narnia, Twilight, and a bunch of other novels that turned into movies and while many have failed critically and financially, some have either been one or the other (mainly the latter) and for that one film franchise based off a YA novel, no one does it adequately better than The Hunger Games franchise.
Yes, it seems that Lionsgate has found a fortune with this girl on fire although the first film was more of an OK effort but nothing worthy of being the best movie in 2012 aside from favorable results from its targeted demographic, that being pre-teen to teenage girls (and Twilight was about to be on its way out) and made Jennifer Lawrence a household name but what will the sequel (this time with a different director Francis Lawrence on the helm) has to offer this time around?
A year after winning the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen and her partner, Peeta Mellark must go on what is known as the Victor’s Tour wherein they visit all the districts. But before leaving, Katniss is visited by President Snow who fears that Katniss defied him a year ago during the games when she chose to die with Peeta. With both Katniss and Peeta declared the winners, it is fueling a possible uprising. He tells Katniss that while on tour she better try to make sure that she puts out the flames or else everyone she cares about will be in danger.
WOW……..I’m really impressed with what I saw from this movie as they managed to up the ante from the last movie and made some of the stakes higher than before as the aftermath of the games has a staggering effect on Katniss from having nightmares to PTSD daily and with the public eye on them about what’s going to happen with her and Peeta and this opposition against the games and the government. They made that aspect the key element that gives these movies the suspense and impact it needed along. However, the love triangle of Katniss, Peeta and Gale is evident in some parts of the movie but it wasn’t actually taking up the whole runtime and not to mention she got more shit to worry about, like her family trying to survive and you know, not die.
I can easily say that the scenes involving around the politics of the games and the districts and the character interactions between each other are more engaging than some of the action sequences in the movie and they were great action scenes that were fantastically shot and was more of an upgrade from the bothersome shaky cam effects of the first movie.
Performances are still spot-on from the last movie and more evolved with Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss although while she gives a good performance, it wasn’t exactly that masterful but I never felt bored with her as that’s more in line of Liam Hemsworth’s Gale as he mostly felt like he’s just that other guy that happens to be in here and Josh Hutcherson’s Peeta was on the same wavelength as Lawrence as he also give a solid performance. As for Sam Claflin as Finnick, he was rather decent but nothing I would say to be godly.
However the real outstanding performances comes from the supporting cast and there is a lot to be named from Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright and Jena Malone as I thought they easily outshine the main cast in terms of performance and acting.
FINAL VERDICT: Honestly, I didn’t expect the movie to push the boundaries further than they have but they did. Like I said, it brought everything higher than before and managed to get the audience invested in characters and their actions. After that, I’m actually eager on how they’ll do Mockingjay after what happened there as this is one of the few times that I want to see what will happen. Maybe not in an eager mood like most people are after they saw it in theaters but yeah, I await the next movie with an open mind.
Did this still got some FIRE left in them? Well, duh.
8.5 / 10
PLANET TYRO RATING: Low FIRST CLASS
And who knows? I could review MOCKINGJAY Pt. 1 once it hit theaters. (OK, maybe a week into it.)
Until then, I’m MAK2.0 aka The Blue Hybrid, bringing all the elements in one format. (And I did like that Coldplay song that played in the end.)
THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE – courtesy of LIONSGATE