Sunday, 30 March 2014

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Jennifer Lawrence returns as Katniss Everdeen in the second instalment of The Hunger Games trilogy; Catching Fire. For those who don’t know, The Hunger Games is an annual death match pitting two randomly selected “tributes” from each of Panem’s 12 districts against each other in an artificial arena. There are no rules and it the games can only end when one tribute remains alive. Sounds brutal, I know, but this is how the Capital instils fear into the masses and keeps them all in their respective places.

Through an act of defiance, Katniss managed to emerge victorious alongside the second tribute from her district, Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), by threatening joint suicide to avoid having to kill each other. In Catching Fire, it is revealed that this simple act sparked an uprising and Panem is in danger of rebellion. Much to President Snow’s dismay, Katniss inadvertently became a beacon of hope and he is determined to crush her along with everybody’s dreams as soon as he possibly can.

Things take a turn for the worst when Katniss and Peeta are thrown back into an arena for a special edition of The Hunger Games where the tributes are selected from previous winners. Sporting every trap you can think of, from poisonous fog to rainfalls of blood, this arena is far more unforgiving than any before it.

It’s not all action and revolution mind you, there’s an underlying love triangle deep enough to make any girl warm inside. Torn between her childhood sweetheart and the partner with whom she suffered the most chaotic experience of her life, Katniss is forced to battle heartache whilst she struggles everybody alive. The fact that her and Peeta’s on screen relationship has no choice but to continue doesn’t really help matters either.  

I really can’t fault this film at all; from the casting right down to the special effects, every last detail is fine-tuned and spectacular. The storyline is near enough identical to the novel so no complaints there, and the acting does every character justice. Just like in the book, they all have distinguished personalities, regardless of how little their role and this is followed through on the big screen.

Having read the books, I already knew exactly what was coming next, but this film still had me glued to the edge of my seat. It's 145 minutes of relentless suspense, sucking you further into their world with each passing second. It’s a film that forces passion into your veins, lights a fire in your heart, and spills tears of joy, despair and excitement alike. This series is shaping up to be one of my favourite book-to-film adaptations of all time. Bring on the finale, I say.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire gets a 5/5, []


The Hunger Games: Catching Fire at CeX

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